NARA issues e-mail archiving guide

NARA issues e-mail archiving guide

The National Archives and Records Administration yesterday released a guide detailing how agencies can provide NARA with e-mail and message attachments for archiving as records.

Agencies now can use a standard markup language or the e-mail program’s native format. Previously, NARA required that agencies use only the ASCII text format.

The guidance is the first of at least three policy statements NARA expects to issue for its E-Records Management, one of the Office of Management and Budget’s Quicksilver initiatives.

By Dec. 31, NARA will issue guidelines for submitting image scans of documents for archiving and by March 31 a policy for Adobe Portable Document Format files, said Nancy Allard, a NARA project manager.

The e-mail guidance instructs agencies to separately document each e-mail file, identifying the e-mail application, operating system, total number of messages, total number of attachments, a list of message delimiters and definitions, the structure used for each e-mail item in the file and the arrangement of records.

NARA is requiring agencies to ftp their e-mail files or send them on Type IV digital tape.

For a copy of the guidance, go to www.archives.gov/records_management/initiatives/email_attachments.html.

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