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Learn > Arweave

How to archive with Arweave

Muhammad Ahmed
Muhammad Ahmed
24 Jan 2024 · 4 min

Introduction

Our history and heritage are not just relics of the past; they are the foundations that inform our future. They give us a sense of identity and help us understand where we come from. However, the challenge of preserving these links grows as time goes on.

Traditional archiving methods, both physical and digital, have their shortcomings. They often don’t offer a sustainable way for long-term preservation, whether it’s for personal memories or institutional records. Historically, only those with ample resources, like the wealthy or influential organizations, could hope to leave a lasting legacy.

Arweave is changing this dynamic. It provides a platform not just for individuals, but also for organizations of all sizes to securely archive their data. Arweave ensures that their collective stories and contributions are preserved and accessible for generations to come.

Traditional archiving and storage: limitations and challenges

From the slow degradation of ancient manuscripts to the fading of photographs, the physical decay of materials has long been a threat to our archives. Even when everything has become digitized, it is still not immune to threats.

Digital decay, such as data corruption or the obsolescence of storage mediums, remains a concern. Centralisation of data storage amplifies these risks, making archives vulnerable to catastrophes. This is illustrated by the fate of the Library of Alexandria, which suffered devastating fires and conquests, leading to its tragic loss. The Myspace incident in 2019 also highlights just how vulnerable digital archives are. During a server migration, the platform accidentally lost over 13 years’ worth of data.

The costs and resources required for the maintenance of this data further compound the issue, making the task of archiving our history appear quite difficult.

Arweave overcomes these challenges

Arweave’s foundational strength lies in its decentralized structure, which ensures that once data is archived, it’s replicated across numerous nodes. This not only provides a strong safeguard against potential threats but also enhances the integrity and longevity of the data.

What sets Arweave apart is its efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Digital archives benefit from a clear understanding of costs, as they pay upfront. This means their information is securely archived and remains accessible indefinitely, without incurring ongoing expenses or the risk of data loss.

How individuals and organizations can archive on Arweave

It's not just about theory; Arweave is already being harnessed to protect our global heritage.

Platforms like Akord are providing the tools for anyone to archive valuable data on Arweave, making it seamless to store, manage, and share these digital archives. With Akord you get 100 MB free on signup, so you can archive your first files on us.

The Mahamati Foundation is one example of an organization utilizing Akord for their archival needs.

Akord is providing the Foundation with the means to not only protect and store digital files for hundreds of years, but also to ensure the quality of the information is preserved perfectly.

Karma Trinlay Rinpoche, Founder, Mahamati Foundation

Another platform for archiving to Arweave is Alex, inspired by the Library of Alexandria, except that this time it aims to be permanent. On Alex, pools can be created to preserve a specific topic through which artifacts are uploaded to Arweave. The best part? Anybody can contribute to these pools by sending $AR and in return receive some artifacts.

The scope of Arweave's utility extends to individual professionals as well. Take the case of photographer Brendan Flesher who leverages Akord for archiving his work. Brendan's story demonstrates how artists and creators can use Arweave to safeguard their digital legacy.

Moreover, Arweave's application isn't limited to organisational or professional use. It also serves as an invaluable tool for individuals seeking to preserve personal items of value. Arweave can act as a digital safe, ideal for safeguarding family photos, important documents, or other precious memories. This ensures their longevity and accessibility for years to come.

The beauty of this new web3 archive? Arweave doesn't just archive — it democratises. No longer are these historical treasures confined to the few; they're available to the many, breaking down barriers of geography and privilege. In line with this, Akord Explorer will act as a portal to all public Akord vaults on Arweave for anyone to discover and follow.

Conclusion: democratising the archival process

The potential of Arweave in reshaping archiving is boundless.

We can envision a future where museums, libraries, and other custodians of history utilise Arweave to permanently secure their repositories. Yet, it's not just about institutions. As we’re already seeing, the decentralised nature of the Permaweb allows individuals and communities from anywhere in the world to contribute.

Arweave has the potential to be humanity’s shared hard drive.

The end of the Arweave miniseries

And that’s a wrap to the Arweave miniseries. Thanks for sticking with us! If you've just joined in and want to start from the beginning, you can find the first article here.

We hope you found these articles both informative and engaging. Think others might find value in learning about Arweave through our series? Go ahead and share it with them!

If you're interested in trying out Arweave, why not sign up now? We'll get you started with 100MB free, perfect for making your first permanent upload.

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