Colleges begin archival efforts for historic emails
- Campus Technology profiles the emerging work of the "Task Force on Technical Approaches for Email Archives," a collection of institutions working to develop strategies and resources for preserving electronic correspondence from historic figures.
- The task force is examining ways to develop technical framework and to identify elements that best lend to collection and storage of email and texts, which sometimes can take up billions of bytes of data storage.
- Harvard University, Yale University and Stanford University are among the institutions participating in the consortium, along with the National Archives and Records Administration and Smithsonian Institution Archives.
Where most museums and historic library collections have to contend with securing and preserving old documents, the cataloging of emails could be a far more arduous tasks. Will companies be willing to turn over collections to institutions without family permission? Who goes through thousands of emails to determine which threads or conversations could or should be submitted?
For colleges interested in this kind of preservation, there could be a lot of area to attract public attention and investment, but the costs and labor involved in such a project would be an unknown factor in making a collection or repository available for public review.
- Campus Technology Email gets archivist attention