The Collaborative Electronic Records Project
◊ CERP has concluded its work. While the team has officially disbanded, the website will be available indefinitely and updated when necessary.
◊ November 2008
◊ August 2008
◊ Panel session at the Society of American Archivists 2008 conference. Capturing the E-Tiger - New Tools for Email Preservation. Panelists were CERP, NC State Archives, and the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives.
◊ Australian Society of Archivists 2008 conference, Perth, Australia.
◊ June 2008
◊ April 2008
◊ SIA developed a Java-based script that automates analyses of the attachments using JHOVE and DROID. Read more about it.
We encourage interested organizations to contact CERP Project Manager Ricc Ferrante (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-633-5906) or EMCAP Project Manager Kelly Eubank (email@example.com; 919-807-7350) for further information about the schema and its application in the archival organizations participating in the two projects.
◊ Friends of CERP, Winter 2009
The Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) and the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) were engaged in a collaborative three-year project to develop, test, and share the technology to preserve digital documents with other non-profit organizations. SIA and RAC developed and tested electronic records preservation, focusing on email, that drew on the SIA’s more established framework for developing methodologies, and that drew on the RAC’s network of donor institutions for testing the preservation system and strategies.
Archival institutions, which provide permanent access to information deemed vital to understanding the history of individuals and organizations, are encountering the loss of digitally-created information before it even crosses their thresholds. Given modern digital forms of information, the long-term preservation of electronic records, particularly email, will be critically important for scholars looking at the first decade of the 21st century, as well as for organizational accountability.
Yet few institutions have taken significant steps toward preservation, in part because there are few accepted standards for such preservation in the archival world. Much of the electronic information created by institutions now becomes inaccessible or is intentionally destroyed within a few months or a few years of creation. This is true for the offices and organizations for which the Rockefeller Archive Center and the Smithsonian Institution Archives have archival responsibilities, as well as for virtually all other nonprofit institutions.
A Focus on Email
The complexity of email records poses a special preservation challenge. The basic functionality of email "threads" was at the heart of this challenge. An email can contain several emails either in the body of the uppermost email or as attachments.