Music, News + Views

Do You Know What the Arctic World Archive is?

I am fascinated by a bit of information I just came across quite by chance while I was perusing the internet. Established in 2017 on a remote island north of Norway, the Arctic World Archive was created to be a repository for priceless, irreplaceable government documents, books, works of art and the like. The archive — located on the island of Spitsbergen, part of a Norwegian archipelago — is contained in a steel vault buried between 490 feet and 980 feet within an abandoned coal mine. Due to the depth of the vault, the storage facility is impervious to nuclear attack or electromagnetic pulses. Already stored there are copies of Dante’s Inferno, copies of the Mexican National Archive, and a digitized copy of Edvard Munch’s The Scream. The mastermind behind this for-profit entitity — Luke Jenkinson — plans to include a global music library. Both archives are intended to preserve its contents for centuries to come. Incidentally, the Arctic World Archive is not far from the location of the Global Seed Vault which holds more than one million samples of seeds from world botanical species.

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