GitHub open source code now stored forever
Published July 16, 2020

We are thrilled to announce that we have now received GitHub’s deposit of its public repositories.

On 8 July, 186 reels of piqlFilm were stored in the Arctic Code Vault, inside the Arctic World Archive.

Despite the restrictions and challenges presented by the pandemic, the reels were safely and securely transported to Longyearbyen, Svalbard and escorted to our mountain vault.

Here, in the remote and freezing conditions of the Arctic, the history of open source code as well as a snapshot of all open GitHub repositories will be stored for generations to come.

GitHub is the world’s largest software repository with 37 million users and more than 100 million repositories. As major advocates of open source, this initiative ensures that the world’s software heritage, along with a picture of software development today—the cornerstone of our modern world—stays alive, forever.

This is the second deposit as part of the GitHub Archive Program. In the initial deposit, 6,000 of the most significant repositories were stored in AWA for perpetuity, capturing the evolution of technology and software. This deposit included a snapshot of all active public repositories as of February 2, 2020.

The data is stored on our purpose-built digital film—piqlFilm—designed to be entirely self-contained, with open source software for data retrieval (also stored on GitHub) to ensure future access to the data, independent of other technology.

GitHub chose AWA and Piql’s innovative technology for its longevity, resilience and future accessibility.

This second deposit now makes GitHub a major contributor to the Arctic World Archive. The software repositories now sit alongside European space history from ESA, religious heritage from the Vatican Library, masterpieces from the National Museum of Norway and treasures from archives and heritage institutions around the world.

Check out GitHub’s blog post here.

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Want to join a deposit on Svalbard?

To visit Svalbard is on many people's bucket list, and we recommend everyone who stores their precious memories in AWA to participate in a deposit ceremony.

Image of the invitation to the deposit ceremony