Item 0015 - Honorary doctorate of Laws from the University of Cambridge

Identity area

Reference code

ZA COM MR-T-5-3-0015


Honorary doctorate of Laws from the University of Cambridge


  • Unknown (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium


Context area

Name of creator

Administrative history

Archival history

Verified by: Lucia Raadschelders ; Date verified: 20/12/11

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Speech presentation delivered to Mr Mandela upon the receipt of an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, UK

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Certificate of speech presentation inclues 16 cream-coloured pages in dark blue folder with gold engraved seal of the University of Cambridge on the cover.
First page is patterned endpaper.
Second page, Third page, Fourth page is blank.
Fifth page includes the black, white, red, and gold seal of the university at the top. Text is written in gold and black and reads:
University of Cambridge
This speech of presentation was delivered by the university orator to President Nelson Mandela
on the occasion of the conferment of the honorary degree of Doctor of Law Honoris Causa
at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday 10 July 1996.
Signed by: Vice-chancellor of the University, Registrary of the University
Sixth page is blank.
Seventh page has black seal of the university placed at the top of the page, and the following text:
University of Cambridge
Presentation of the honorary degree of Doctor of Law
10 July 1996
Eighth page includes the speech in Latin.
Ninth page includes the speech in English. It reads as follows:
Though long tormented by superior might, this man has been able at last to echo the words of Aeneas, pledging good health to the land of his destiny; except that for him it is restoration to his own land and his own land's restoration that he hails, after twenty-seven years of prison and husks. He was born of royal stock, but laid aside privilege to take on a greater task, one that a brave citizen must who is determined to raise his country from the affliction and corruption of evil times to liberty and self-esteem. He studied law and turned defense of his people into prosecution of the oppressors. He was banished to an island; yet, there he learnt not to hate the white man, and there he preserved his patriotic hopes. He was kept out of sight; yet his name was never forgotten, and the memory of his achievements was constantly cherished.
On Robben Island there was seaweed to gather; now he gathers weeds of academia. Shall we picture him, upon his return, cutting them up and patching them into shirts for which he is famous, to present himself like Joseph in such rainbow attire that all the youth of his country in sheer emulation is spurred into learning?
I present to you a man of courage, strength, and charm.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Nobel Prize winner, President of the republic of South Africa.
Page ten to sixteen are blank.

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area


Certificate is not included


General Inscription: Vice-chancellor of the University, Registrary of the University

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Nelson Mandela Awards Database ID: A0221

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion




Accession area