Arctic World Archive


Protecting World Memory

ARCTIC WORLD ARCHIVE™ Future-proof data storage Svalbard

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A safe repository for world memory

Much of our heritage is stored digitally and, despite best efforts to protect it for the future, it can be exposed to risks, either from the online environment or just from the limits of modern storage technology. The combination of resilient long-term storage technology and the remote, safe and cold conditions found on Svalbard, enables data to live on into the distant future.

ARCTIC WORLD ARCHIVE Established in 2017, the Arctic World Archive (AWA) holds a growing collection of valuable digital artefacts and irreplaceable information from around the world. AWA is home to manuscripts from the Vatican Library, political histories, masterpieces from different eras (including Rembrandt and Munch), scientific breakthroughs and contemporary cultural treasures. Our goal is to ensure that precious memories and valued cultural items are never lost, but can be kept forever, without the risks of data corruption or technology obsolescence. Data stored in AWA is offline, secure, resilient and is expected to last more than 1000 years in this vault. Data can be accessed quickly and efficiently should the need arise via a high speed fibre optic connection to mainland Norway.

LOCATION AWA is set deep inside an arctic mountain on the Svalbard archipelago. Svalbard is a declared demiliarised zone by 42 nations. The safety, security and remoteness makes it a perfect choice for an archive of such valu- able information. Further, the cool dry permafrost conditions increase the longevity of the stored data.

It is an amazing feeling to know that my own nation’s memory will be kept safe for future generations

to see on this arctic island. Erick Cardoso, National Archive of Mexico


THE TECHNOLOGY The technology used to store the data is as important as the archive itself. Most digital storage mediums have a limited lifetime, and hardware, software and file formats become obsolete as technology evolves. We use a purpose-built digital storage medium that can keep data alive for over 1000 years with guaranteed future accessibility. The storage medium, piqlFilm, is futureproof and technology independent, so regardless of how much time has passed and how technology has evolved, the data will still be accessible. The technology can withstand extreme electromagnetic exposure and has undergone extensive longevity and accessibility testing.

CONTRIBUTING TO THE ARCHIVE AWA is for the preservation of world memory, i.e. data that holds significant cultural and historical value, and for cli- ents who wish to store irreplaceabe information. If you have valuable data that you want to ensure lives on for the future, AWA is the right place.

For more information, contact your local Piql representative, see for details.

More information is also available at:

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HOW IT WORKS Digital information is stored on piqlFilm through a Piql Service provider, see map on the back.

The piqlFilm is securely shipped to Svalbard and stored at AWA with state-of-the-art security measures in place.

The information can be searchable online, can be retrieved upon certified request and will be made available to its owner online or shipped on an agreed physical medium.



SUSTAINABLE The Arctic World Archive requires no electricity to store the data, making it the most sustainable data centre in the world. SECURE The combination of the offline technology and the remote and secure location of the archive ensures your data remains pro- tected from risk. PERMANENT Photosensitive film is known to be robust with proven long- term qualities, and piqlFilm is tested together with its packag- ing for an expected lifetime of 1000 years. Even with a shorter time perspective, you can trust that your data will remain in- tact. FUTURE-PROOF Data retrieval is independent of access to specific technologies or vendors. For disaster recovery, all you need is a light source, a magnifying glass, a digital camera and a computer. Human readable text explains how to reproduce your files.

FLEXIBLE Depending on your needs you can store your data in computer readable digital formats or as human readable texts or images. You can also combine the two for additional benefit. MIGRATION-FREE By storing digital data in preservation file formats on piqlFilm, repetitive migrations are no longer needed. You avoid the risk of migration-related corruption and data loss, you’ll save time and work, and get a more predictable long-term cost. SEARCHABLE Operated within a standard IT environment, your index/meta- data is fully searchable. You’ll find what you need, whenever you need it. UNALTERABLE Your data is preserved securely on a true WORM (Write Once Read Many) medium, making it impossible to manipulate or delete your valuable data.

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