Added on 6 May 2019

Following on from the popular 2011 report and the successful Task Force on Technical Approaches for Email Archives, the DPC is pleased to announce the release of the updated Preserving Email (2nd Edition) by Christopher J Prom for member preview.

 Since the first edition of this report was published in 2011, email preservation has become a common, though not yet routine, part of digital preservation and archives work. In some ways, this is not surprising, since the core issues have changed little over eight years. As essential as email is to conducting business, many organizations treat non-current messages as more of a liability than an asset. And as important as email is to facilitating personal communication, many individuals find it as much a nuisance as a blessing.

The messages that we send and receive daily leave behind an information and evidence-rich trail of our activities. Information professionals such as archivists and records managers can choose from a range of tools, both open source and commercial, to complete the basic tasks of appraisal, disposal or acquisition, arrangement, description, migration, storage, and discovery. These actions make email messages and accounts accessible resources, able to be interrogated and used for administrative, legal, and historical purposes.

This report reviews the current state of email preservation and offers recommendations for information professionals (such as organizational leaders, records managers, IT professionals, librarians, archivists and curators) who seek to preserve email for its cultural, legal or administrative value. It also provides guidance to private individuals who may wish to preserve their email correspondence and to deposit it in a cultural heritage institution. Whatever choices that people and repositories make, this report describes the key policies, implementation strategies, procedures, tools, and services that can be drawn upon when developing an email preservation programme. Ultimately, it presents a hopeful message: by implementing appropriate technical standards, capture methods, and processing tools, every archivist, curator, records manager, or other information professional can take practical steps to preserve email for its legal, administrative, or historical value.

The report will be made openly available on 7 November 2019. 


DPC Members please login to view the report.


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