Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Email Management Migraines

The digitalpermanence (2.0) initiative is looking at emails and email management and preservation.

Nowadays, it's becoming increasingly clear that emails are replacing office memos as the primary means of distributing institutional policies and procedures. Of course, the paper memos still exist. But the reality is that records of transaction are being carried out via email.

As records managers and archivists, how do we deal with this?

Our dp team has come up with, and will be proposing, the following plan: the development and implementation of a classification scheme, built within an email client as a set of folders and sub-folders. We want administrative staff to become more cognizant of the role emails have in conducting official business. Our plan is to have staff file their business emails in email folders and apply rules to folders so that emails are eventually moved to their appropriate spot.

For preservation purposes, our plan is to migrate emails from their native file format to a file format that is not dependent on a particular application. One such file format that comes to mind is XML.

The problems arise when so many disciplines and departments are required to be part of the overall solution. It's very difficult to get everyone at the table on the same page.

Is anyone else out there tackling the email management issue? I'm getting a headache.

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about the author

I am an information professional, researcher, and writer with over eight years experience in the information services field with experience in information and communication technology.

I have a B.A. in History and a Master's in Library and Information Studies and working on a Web and Multimedia Design certificate.

I believe that empowering people with information can enrich lives and transform the world.