Archiving Eden: The Vaults (2008 – Present)

Spurred by the impending completion of the Svarlbard Global Seed Vault, I initiated Archiving Eden: the Vaults in 2008 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. Serving as a global botanical backup system, these privately and publicly funded institutions assure the opportunity for reintroduction of species should a catastrophic event or civil strife affect a key ecosystem somewhere in the world.

Taken at the world’s largest and most comprehensive collections including the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation in Fort Collins, Colorado; the Millennium Seed Bank, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Wakehurst Place in Sussex, England; the N.I. Vavilov Institute for Plant Industry in Russia; and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, these photographs trace in precise detail the spaces and technology of involved in this important effort.

Special thanks go to the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for their support and all of the dedicated scientists I’ve had the honor to work with.