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Second Doomsday Vault in Norway Will Protect World's Most Valuable Books

Mar 31, 2017 10:26 AM EDT

A second "Doomsday Vault" in Svalbard, Norway, now stores the world's most precious literature, ensuring its contents' survival even in the wake of extreme national disasters and war.

According to a report from NRK via the Sputnik News, representatives from Brazil and Mexico's National Archives are the first ones to save copies of their documents in the Doomsday Vault alongside Norway's Sogn og Fjordane County Council.

The archives will be deep inside Mine 3, which is a former coal mine that's been abandoned for two decades. It's chosen for its immunity to the different seasons with temperatures ranging from five to 10 degrees below zero inside.

Part of the draw of the World Arctic Archives is also the technology that's being used in the storage. The information will be stored using a new technology using film that's believed to offer a safe and impressively long lifespan of at least 500 years.

Piql, a company based in Norwegian city Drammen, is taking the lead of the World Arctic Archives with their expertise in using film as a storage medium. The team tweaked photosensitive film technology to enable it to store massive amounts of information in multiple layers. This method is a safe option, since the files can't be altered once its already inputed.

While the Doomsday Vault is officially estimated to last at least 500 years, the group has disclosed that their expectations of its lifespan is much longer.

"Actually, we believe that we can save the data using our technology for a whole 1,000 years," Piql's Katrine Loen Thomsen told NRK.

The technology isn't just reliably sturdy, but also thievery-safe. After all, there's no way to hack, damage or steal the information without actually being there.

"It is clear that in order to damage the files, you have to physically break into the vault and grab a roll of film," Thomsen added.

Furthermore, the archipelago of Svalbard, a sovereign of Norway, is a dimilitarized zone that's much safer from war and military conflict than many other parts of the world.

This is the second so-called Doomsday Vault in the area following the Global Seed Vault, which is also in Svalbard. The underground seed depository was opened in 2008 and acts as a master backup to the other seed banks around the world.

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