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About AWA

The Arctic World Archive (AWA) was inaugurated in March 2017 by Piql AS, an innovative technology company located on mainland Norway.

The first deposits were made by the National Archives of Mexico and Brazil, followed by a growing number of organisations from over 15 countries, including the Vatican Library, the National Museum of Norway, the European Space Agency, the Museum of the Person, Alinari and major global corporations

Our ambition is to be a secure world archive to help preserve the world's digital memory and ensure that the world's most irreplaceable digital memories of art, culture and literature are secured and made available to future generations

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

A large number of factors related to technology and societal change, wars and potential natural disasters make it extremely demanding to preserve digital memories for centuries. AWA provides an opportunity to pass information on to future generations so that those with knowledge of their past can have a meaningful present and future.

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.

The purpose-built digital medium can last for over 1000 years in the archive with guaranteed future accessibility. The storage medium, piqlFilm, is futureproof and technology independent, so no matter 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.


Piql is dedicated to preventing that irreplaceable data is lost. The company develop methods and technologies that will keep essential information authentic, accessible and usable at any point in the future.

Since the company was started in 2002, it has creatively challenged industry standards to come up with new and better solutions. One of these solutions is a migration-free and self-contained storage medium with unique long-term properties.

Piql is represented globally through a global network of Piql Partners that offers Piql Services to Clients that has a need to keep data secure preserved for future use.

Mountain Location

AWA is located in a decommissioned coal mine (Mine no. 3) just outside Longyearbyen on Svalbard. Mine 3 is owned and operated by Store Norske Gruve 3 AS (SNG3), which is a fully owned daughter company of Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani (SNSK).

SNSK has more than 100 years’ experience developing and operating mines on Svalbard and is owned by Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries.

In addition to housing AWA, Mine 3 offers guided tours, providing the opportunity to experience both mining history up close and learn about Longyearbyen's past.

AWA is located in its own vault 300 metres inside the mine. SNG3 are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the mine including security and access control for AWA