A knowledge ark could take the form of a traditional library or a modern computer database. It could also be pictorial in nature, including photographs of important information or diagrams of critical processes.
In order to be viable, a knowledge ark would have to be resistant to the effects of natural or man-made disasters. Such an ark should include, but would not be limited to, information or material relevant to the survival and prosperity of human civilisation. Other types of knowledge arks might include genetic material, such as a DNA bank. With the potential for widespread personal DNA sequencing becoming a reality, an individual might agree to store their genetic code in a digital or analogue storage format which would enable later retrieval of that code. If a species was sequenced before extinction, its genome would still remain available for study.