The Guardian view on Oslo’s Future Library: hope in practice | Editorial
Trees, vision and shelf space are all needed for an exemplary project that will hide books for a century
Several hundred people trooped into a forest near the Norwegian capital, Oslo, earlier this month to toast the eighth year of a century-long investment in the future. Each year since 2014, when the Future Library project was initiated by the Scottish artist Katie Paterson, a high-profile international author has written a story that will be hidden away for 100 years. Contributors include Canada’s Margaret Atwood, the UK’s David Mitchell, South Korea’s Han Kang and Norway’s own Karl Ove Knausgård.
This year’s innovation was the opening of a “silent” room at the top of Oslo’s new Deichman library, where the accumulating stories will lie unread in glass drawers until 2114. The drawers are set into panelling made from mature trees that were felled at the start of the project to allow for a new plantation of spruce saplings. In time, those saplings will provide bindings for the anthologised stories.