Magazine article Information Management

Library Council Report Examines Complexity of Preservation

Magazine article Information Management

Library Council Report Examines Complexity of Preservation

Article excerpt

A report from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) discusses what makes e-mail archiving so complex and describes emerging strategies to address the archiving challenge, as reported on the CLIR site, by Kathlin Smith.

"The Future of Email Archives" presents the findings of a yearlong investigation of a task force funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Digital Preservation Coalition.

According to the report, 215 billion messages are sent and received for personal and business communication on an average day. These messages are documentation of personal and public stories, but few archives have policies for systematically capturing, preserving, and providing access to them.

Complexity is part of the problem, the report suggests: "Email is not one thing, but a complicated interaction of the technical subsystems for composition, transport, viewing and storage."

Task-group Co-Chair Christopher Prom believes that the complexity should not dissuade efforts to properly manage e-mail. …

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