Arctic World Archive

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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

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