[artinfo] Email Preservation and Access in Art Museums

Museums and the Web info at museumsandtheweb.com
Wed Jan 8 23:57:35 CET 2014

Museums and the Web Deep Dive: 
Assessing Tools and Best Practices for Email Preservation and Access 
in Art Museums
A special session hosted April 1st as part of Museums and the Web 2014.

Session Chairs: Susan Chun and  Dale Kronkright

As many of you know, I have been very concerned about the lack of 
email archiving in museums. I chaired a session a few years ago at 
MCN and found that I am not alone in my concern. Since then, things 
have not improved. In fact, one might say they have worsened as the 
volume of email continues to increase, as does its use for types of 
museum correspondence that are crucial for us to preserve.

The problem, simply stated, is that lack of robust archiving and 
retrieval for email correspondence in today's art museums may limit 
the primary source materials available to future generations of 
students, scholars, and the public. This is an issue for directors, 
curators, educators, researchers, archivists, collection managers, 
and technology staff. While there are commercial products for email 
archiving, they are built to serve corporate data-retention policies, 
not future research and scholarship. Focused on maintaining emails 
for five, seven, or ten years, these products rarely are expected to 
retain emails indefinitely. They may have inherent limitations for 
our community due to their different intended contexts of use.

It is time for us to focus on this problem as a community: time that 
we look at what is being done to archive email in corporate settings, 
universities, and state and federal governments, and time we do 
something about a problem that has been developing in our museum 
community for more than 20 years.

So, I have asked Susan Chun and Dale Kronkright to chair and organize 
a Museums and the Web full-day Deep Dive into this issue. We will 
explore previous and ongoing work in the GLAM community , examining 
the problem from both technology infrastructure and procedure and 
policy angles. We will review commercial and open source technology 
solutions. We will gather commercial vendors and see how their 
solutions match our needs. We will hear about the work being done in 
other spaces such as government and education. We will publish the 
results, and form a working group to move this issue forward, 
supported by the proceedings of this workshop.

I have posted an overview of the issues, as well as a link to the 
registration page, 
here. <http://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/museums-and-the-web-deep-dive-assessing-tools-and-best-practices-for-email-preservation-and-access-in-art-museums/>http://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/museums-and-the-web-deep-dive-assessing-tools-and-best-practices-for-email-preservation-and-access-in-art-museums/ (note 
that this event is part of Museums and the Web 2014, but it is a 
separate registration; participants need not attend the whole MW 2014 

Deep-Dive registration includes coffee breaks, lunch, and a special 
reception. You can register here. 

We are now developing the detailed agenda and background reading 
list. I would love to hear your suggestions and comments to ensure we 
don't miss anything important. We are also looking for participants 
for lightning talks on desired use cases or horror stories or top 
wishes for functionalities related to email archiving. To further the 
discussion we have created aGoogle Group for email archiving in 

Please forward this announcement to prospective attendees and post to 
lists as appropriate.

Looking forward to seeing you at this MW Deep Dive on April 1st, 2014.

Rich Cherry Co-chair, Museums and the Web

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