Exterior, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Exterior, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

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.


  Door, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Door, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Empty Chamber, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

  Entry Tunnel, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Entry Tunnel, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Seed Collecting Supplies, Austrailia

LBJ Blue Dessicant

Seeds Drying, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Smallest seeds in the world

Seed Vault, Kuban Experimental Station, Russia

Vault Interior, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Barley Collection, Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry, St Petersburg, Russia

Cryogenic Racks National Center for Genetic Researches Preservation

Herbarium Voucher Specimen, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Texas

Voucher Specimens, Russia

EMBRAPA Laboratory

Biogenics Lab EMBRAPA, Brasilia

Acai Research

Incubator, EMBRAPA, Brazil

Peppers, National Centre for Genetic Resources, The Netherlands

Seed Accessions, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Collection of Drying Plant Genetic Researches, Geneva, New York

Drying Seeds, MSB, England

Seed Cleaning Centre for Plant Genetic Resources, The Netherlands

Dryland Seed Shipment

Millenium Seed Bank Vault Interior, England

Antique Seed Collection

NCGRP Vault Interior

National Center for Genetic Researches Preservation Cryogenic Storage, USA

Herbarium, Vavilov Plant Institute of Plant Industry

Map Room, Desert Legume Research Station, Tucson, Arizona

Corn Research, Brazil

Research Laboratory, Brasilia

Incubator, National Center for Genetic Preservations, Fort Collins, Colorado

Laboratory II EMBRAPA, Brasilia

Tree and Timber Institute Laboratory Italy

Kuban Experimental Station, Russia

Ancient Citrus Collection

Apple Collection, Geneva, New York

Desert Plant Research, Yuma, Arizona

Greenhouse Millenium Seed Bank

Papaya Collection, Cruz das Almas, Brazil

Squash Isolation Chamber

Carniverous Plants, Western Australia Seed Technology Center

  View of the bay and airport from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

View of the bay and airport from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault