Email preservation

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These are requirements for email preservation in Archivematica:

  • Preservation format
    • Proprietary closed formats such as PST should be converted to open preservation format
    • Preservation format should be text or xml based
    • Email messages, calendars, contacts and other related entities should be normalized to the preservation format
    • Preservation format should preserve the significant characteristics of the email messages
    • Preservation format should be capable of being viewed as an access format or should be capable of generating an access format
  • Attachments
    • Attachments should be converted to preservation and access formats
    • Converted attachments should retain links to emails to which they were attached
  • Access format
    • Access format should be human-readable and should be recognizable as email
    • Access format should allow simple, intuitive navigation between messages, attachments, email boxes, contacts, calendars
    • Access format should allow navigation to normalized access copies of attachments

Email preservation research

Preserving Email] (DPC Technology Watch Report 11-01, ISSN 2048-7916, Digital Preservation Coalition 2011), Chris Prom, University of Illinois.

  • "In general, if an institution can get email into one of the MBOX or EML formats, it has taken a very big step on the road toward preserving email." (p.23)
  • "XML conversion tools...can be very useful in achieving format neutrality. However, the author is aware of no general-purpose tools that are intended to facilitate the access, display, searching, or visualization of messages that have been migrated to XML. Until such tools have been developed – if they ever are – institutions will be forced to provide access to migrated messages using an email client of their choice or the user’s choice, recognizing that specific tools support different functionality." (p. 23)