Dorothy Woodson, curator of the African Collection at the Yale Library, came to Yale in 2000. She met Nelson Mandela several times while working in the Presidential offices in South Africa in 1996. She and several other Yale people, share recollections of the late Nelson Mandela in this YaleNews article:
"While a Fulbright Fellow in South Africa in 1994, my goal was to sort through and archive the voluminous boxes of prisoners’ archives from Robben Island, where Mandela and so many other political prisoners spent many difficult years — and in some cases (though not his) decades.
What a heady task this was. Reading messages written on little pieces of toilet paper that the members of the African National Congress “High Command” wrote to each other, revealed rich insights into the daily lives of this most unusual gathering of men. Much has been said about the harsh conditions the prisoners endured in the early years on the island. As some conditions improved over the years, the prisoners were allowed small requests, such as a few special food items they might want for the holidays. Mandela always ordered the same thing — pilchards (sardines) and orange crush, a soft drink."