The GitHub Arctic Code Vault is where the world's largest code repository stashes a copy of itself, deep underground, on hardcopy media set to last 250 years—and probably far longer. Every repo active in December 2020 or graced by more than a handful of stars was included.
The snapshot consists of the HEAD of the default branch of each repository, minus any binaries larger than 100KB in size. (Repos with 250+ stars retained their binaries.) Each was packaged as a single TAR file.
For greater data density and integrity, most data was stored QR-encoded, and compressed. A human-readable index and guide found on every reel explains how to recover the data.The 02/02/2020 snapshot, consisting of 21TB of data, was archived to 186 reels of film by our archive partners Piql and then transported to the Arctic Code Vault, where it resides today.
8.8m-pixel QR codes on silver halide film stashed in a decommissioned coal mine in Svalbard, right down the road from the seed vault: a perfect vacation! Here's everything you need to know:
How the cold storage will last 1,000 years
Svalbard has been regulated by the international Svalbard Treaty as a demilitarized zone. Home to the world's northernmost town, it is one of the most remote and geopolitically stable human habitations on Earth.
The AWA is a joint initiative between Norwegian state-owned mining company Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani (SNSK) and very-long-term digital preservation provider Piql AS. AWA is devoted to archival storage in perpetuity. The film reels will be stored in a steel-walled container inside a sealed chamber within a decommissioned coal mine on the remote archipelago of Svalbard. The AWA already preserves historical and cultural data from Italy, Brazil, Norway, the Vatican, and many others.