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Every Year for the Next 100 Years, Authors Will Write Books That Won’t Be Read Until 2114

Author Margaret Atwood’s new book became the first to go into the century-long time capsule project

(Photo: Zack Seckler/Corbis)
smithsonian.com

Every year for the next century, an author will write a book. These books will not be released to the public, however—at least not immediately. They will be part of an ongoing installation created by Scottish artist Katie Paterson. The books that enter into Paterson's "Future Library" project will not be unveiled to the public until 2114. Paterson's website explains more about it: 

A thousand trees have been planted in Nordmarka, a forest just outside Oslo, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in one hundred years time. Between now and then, one writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unpublished, until 2114. Tending the forest and ensuring its preservation for the 100-year duration of the artwork finds a conceptual counterpoint in the invitation extended to each writer: to conceive and produce a work in the hopes of finding a receptive reader in an unknown future.

Margaret Atwood, a prize-winning author and poet, will become the first author to enroll her work in "Future Library," which will be housed in a secure room in Oslo's Deichmanske public library, the Verge reports. "The room is to be lined with wood from the planted trees," the Verge writes, "and will also contain a printing press, so people of the near future who might not have held a paper book will have a way to produce a physical copy of the texts contained within."  

Atwood has resolved not to breathe a word about the content of her book, only telling the Guardian that she has "bought some special archival paper, which will not decay in its sealed box over 100 years." 

Here, you can watch a video about the project: 

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