Svalbard Global Seed Vault by Dornith Doherty

Photograph by Dornith Doherty

Svalbard Global Seed Vault by Dornith Doherty

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure seed bank on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen near Longyearbyen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago. The vault was established to preserve a wide variety of plant seeds that are duplicate samples, or “spare” copies, of seeds held in gene banks worldwide.

These photographs of the vaults were taken by American artist and photographer Dornith Doherty.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault Entry Tunnel

These photographs form part of a body of work entitled Archiving Eden for which the artist has travelled around the world documenting various seed banks. This photographic project aims to explore the role of seed banks and their preservation efforts in the face of climate change, the extinction of natural species, and decreased agricultural diversity.

Seed saving and its role in preserving biodiversity is of utmost importance. We are in an era called the Holocene extinction, which is notable for its decline in biodiversity.

-Dornith Doherty

Vault Door, Svalbard Global Seed Bank

Nordic Genetic Resource Center Seed Vials, Svalbard Global Seed

View more of Dornith Doherty’s work on her website here.