Svalbard Global Seed Vault    Spitsbergen Island, Norway

Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Spitsbergen Island, Norway

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    Spitsbergen Island, Norway

Door, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Spitsbergen Island, Norway

Empty Chamber, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Spitsbergen Island, Norway

  Entry Tunnel, Svalbard Global Seed Vault    Spitsbergen Island, Norway

Entry Tunnel, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Spitsbergen Island, Norway

Seed Collecting Supplies, Western Australia Seed Technology Centre, Kings Park and Botanic Garden

West Perth, Western Australia

Seeds and Desiccant, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Austin, Texas, USA

Drying Screens, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Austin,Texas, USA

Smallest Seeds in the World, Western Australia Seed Technology Centre, Kings Park and Botanic Garden

West Perth, Western Australia

Seed Vault, Kuban Experimental Station of the VIR

Krasnodar Territory, Russia

Vault Interior, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Spitsbergen Island, Norway

Barley Collection, N. I. Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry

St. Petersburg, Russia

Cryogenic Racks, USADA ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation

Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Herbarium Voucher Specimen, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Austin, Texas, USA

Voucher Specimens, N. I. Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry

St. Petersburg, Russia

EMBRAPA Laboratory, EMBRAPA Genetic Resources and Biotechnology

Brasilia, Brazil

Biogenics Lab, EMBRAPA Genetic Resources and Biotechnology

Brasilia, Brazil

Acai Research, EMBRAPA Genetic Resources and Biotechnology

Brasilia, Brazil

Incubator,EMBRAPA Genetic Resources and Biotechnology

Brasilia, Brazil

Peppers, Centre for Plant Genetic Resources

Wageningen, the Netherlands

Seed Accessions, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Spitsbergen Island, Norway

Collection Drying, USADA ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit

Geneva, New York, USA

Drying Seeds, Millennium Seed Bank, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

West Sussex, England

Seed Cleaning, Centre for Plant Genetic Resources

Wageningen, the Netherlands

Dry Land Seed Shipment, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Austin, Texas, USA

Millennium Seed Bank Vault Interior, Millennium Seed Bank, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

West Sussex, England

Antique Seed Collection, Western Australia Threatened Flora Seed Centre Kensington, Western Australia

Vault Interior, USADA ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation

Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Cryogenic Storage, USADA ARS National Center For Genetic Resources Preservation

Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Herbarium, N. I. Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry

St. Petersburg, Russia

Map Room, Desert Legume Program Research Station

Tucson, Arizona, USA

Corn Research, EMBRAPA Genetic Resources and Biotechnology

Brasilia, Brazil

Research Lab, EMBRAPA Genetic Resources and Biotechnology

Brasilia, Brazil

Incubator, USADA ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation

Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Experiment, EMBRAPA Genetic Resources and Biotechnology

Brasilia, Brazil

Trees and Timber Institute Laboratory, National Research Council of Italy, Trees and Timber Institute

Florence, Italy

Kuban Experimental Station of the VIR

Krasnodar Territory, Russia

Ancient Citrus Collection

Florence, Italy

Apple Collection, USDA ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit

Geneva, New York, USA

Hyper-Arid Research, Desert Legume Program

Yuma, Arizona, USA

Greenhouse, Millennium Seed Bank, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

West Sussex, England

Papaya Collection, EMBRAPA Mandioca e Fruticultura

Cruz das Almas, Bahia, Brazil

Isolation Chamber, USDA ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit

Geneva, New York, USA

Carnivorous Plants, Western Australia Seed Technology Centre, Kings Park and Botanic Garden

West Perth, Western Australia

  View of the Bay and Airport from Svalbard Global Seed Vault    Spitsbergen Island, Norway

View of the Bay and Airport from Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Spitsbergen Island, Norway