Arctic World Archive

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Arctic World Archive is a facility for data preservation in Svalbard, Norway, operated by the Norwegian companies Piql and the state-owned Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani.[1] It was opened on March 27, 2017.[2]

The facility is located approximately 150 metres (490 ft) below ground inside an abandoned coal mine in a mountain on the island of Spitsbergen.[3][4][5] The same mine also houses the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.[4] Because of the island's Arctic climate and resulting permafrost, even if the power to the facility failed, the temperature inside the vault will remain below freezing—enough to preserve the vault's contents for decades or more.[3] Data is stored offline on digital film that has a reported lifetime of 500 years.[6][7]

The Svalbard archipelago is declared demilitarized by 42 nations and the company describes the location as "one of the most geopolitically secure places in the world".[3][8] The vault is situated deep enough that it can avoid damage from nuclear and EMP weapons.[4]

The archive stores data such as a digitized version of The Scream by Edvard Munch for the National Museum of Norway and a digitised version of The Divine Comedy for the Vatican Library.[9] In March 2018 German science TV show Galileo deposited their first show and made a documentary about it for ProSieben.[10] In November 2019, GitHub announced that all of its public open source code would be archived at the Arctic World Archive.[11][12]


  1. ^ "Arctic World Archive - Piql".
  2. ^ NRK (2017-03-26). "Dommedagshvelv åpner på Svalbard".
  3. ^ a b c CNN, Paul Lawlor. "Arctic 'doomsday' vault seeks to protect world's most precious data".
  4. ^ a b c Kobie, Nicole (2017-04-03). "Norway's Doomsday vault will now store and protect the world's data". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  5. ^ "Arctic World Archive Puts Data on Ice for 1,000 Years". HowStuffWorks. 2017-04-04. Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  6. ^ "Keep your data safe from the apocalypse in an Arctic mineshaft". 2017-04-04.
  7. ^ "Look inside the doomsday vault that may hold the world's most important data". NBC News. June 7, 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  8. ^ Linder, Courtney (2019-11-15). "Microsoft is Storing Source Code in an Arctic Cave". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  9. ^ "Alles van waarde ligt straks in een oude mijnschacht op Spitsbergen".
  10. ^ "Galileo - Der Datenbunker Spitzbergen". 2018-03-19.
  11. ^ "GitHub will store all of its public open source code in an Arctic vault". Engadget. Retrieved 2019-11-16.
  12. ^ Vance, Ashley (November 13, 2019). "Open Source Code Will Survive the Apocalypse in an Arctic Cave". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved November 17, 2019.

External links[edit]