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Preservationist Task Force identifies PDF as a key technology for email archiving

Thumbnail of report cover.

The Future of Email Archives report calls for the development of email archiving specifications leveraging PDF.


Author: PDF Association
Date: August 21, 2018

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Preservationist Task Force identifies PDF as a key technology for email archiving

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has just published the results of a year-long study of email archiving, sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Digital Preservation Coalition, which partnered with the PDF Association in developing veraPDF.

The report addresses PDF technology by recognizing the role PDF can play in a generalized solution to email archiving. One of the report’s seven “high-impact, long term” activities is a call to improve options for leveraging PDF in email archiving workflows, including development of specifications for email archiving using PDF. The report identifies the PDF Association as an appropriate partner for collaboration in meeting this objective.

The Future of Email Archives Task Force was designed to examine the complexities of email archiving, and to identify and describe new strategies to meet these challenges. The project was established based on the recognition that email, although a vital part of the historical record, is nonetheless notably difficult to preserve. Addressing the challenges requires commitment and engagement from a wide variety of stakeholders. The task force proposes a variety of short- and long-term community activities, including tool support, testing, and development.

The 19-member task force that developed the report included representatives from higher education, government, and industry. It was co-chaired by Christopher Prom, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Kate Murray, of the Library of Congress (a Partner Organization of the PDF Association).

The report is intended for the archival community, digital preservation professionals, technologists and software developers, commercial vendors, historians and scholars, institutional administrators, and funding agencies and foundations.

Download the report from CLIR. Download PDF icon