Fans of the enigmatic show Mr. Robot on the USA Network will probably recognize that the fictional Steel Mountain data facility whose HVAC system Elliot and FSociety attempt to sabotage with a Raspberry Pi circuit board, to be a thinly veiled reference to the very real Iron Mountain, a secure data management facility with many locations around the world. One of it’s premiere locations, however, is literally built into the side of a mountain and occupies former limestone mine in Butler County, Pennsylvania.
Iron Mountain is a storage and information management company, assisting more than 156,000 organizations in 36 countries on five continents with storing, protecting and managing their information. …We safely store some of the world’s most valuable historical artifacts, cultural treasures, business documents and medical records. To properly protect and render this information, Iron Mountain employs almost 17,000 professionals and boasts an unrivaled infrastructure that includes more than 1,000 facilities and 3,600 vehicles.
In 2014, KDKA Pittsburgh reporter John Shumway was granted rare access into this highly protected location that houses much of U.S. history, including rare documents, iconic photos (with negatives) and original reels from Hollywood films.
KDKA’s John Shumway says he’s had some incredible experiences during his TV career, but Iron Mountain is mind boggling. Search Iron Mountain on the web and you’ll discover that it’s a massive storage company. In fact, whatever you have, they can store it, shred it, back it up digitally, slice it, dice it and make Julienne fries. …But this story is about Iron Mountain’s crown jewel hidden 220 feet below the rolling farms of Northern Butler County.The 50 degree water of the 150-acre underground lake is pumped throughout the mine to maintain a temperature perfect for document preservation. Fifteen generators stand ready to make sure the mine, and the 2,700 people working there, are never in the dark. Behind door after unmarked door are the vaults. Ranging in size from a few hundred square feet to 220,000-square feet, there are 125 large vaults, another 25 smaller units and hundreds of acres still to be developed.
Also in 2014, the Hillman Photography Initiative at the Carnegie Museum of Art went in search of an “Invisible Photograph” in the Corbis-Bettman Archive that is currently housed underground at Iron Mountain in a specially designed vault.