The University of Illinois Library is pleased to announce that three new institutions were recommended for funding under the Email Archives: Building Capacity and Community (EA:BCC) program. In the second round of proposals, the University of Maryland, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the 92nd Street Y were among the institutions that received funding. 

The EA:BCC is a multi-year initiative sponsored by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that brings together, supports, and funds a growing network of institutions and professionals working to develop critical solutions for preserving email. Through two rounds of funding and nearly $650,000 allocated across eight institutions, EA:BCC continues to expand the email archiving network and provide resources and solutions for continuous development.

A brief overview of the programs recommended for funding is provided below, along with updates on the institutions that received funding in the first round available on the Email Archives Newsletter No. 2.

Discovery environments for using email archives: Evaluating user needs with prototype version of EMail CONtextualisation DIScovery Tool (EMCONDIST), University of Maryland($56,949.96)

The University of Maryland will support construction of an online environment in which we will observe “digitally curious” scholars accessing reference email collections using a novel, context-sensitive discovery prototype: EMail CONtextualisation DIScovery Tool (EMCONDIST). These user engagements will occur both online and in-person. In addition to observing these interactions, users will be surveyed about their experiences. These activities will be transcribed, summarized, analyzed, and reported to the relevant user communities and to the email archive community to improve the discovery and accessibility of email archives.

RATOM Functional, Interoperability and Reuse Extensions (RATOM FIRE), University of North Carolina Chapel Hill ($87,716.81)

Focusing on important email-related curation use cases, the University of Carolina Chapel Hill aims to enhance software development through the Review, Appraisal and Triage of Mail (RATOM) project. The output of the software is designed to facilitate a wide range of curation activities, including review for sensitivity, appraisal and response to open records requests. With its suite of powerful tools, the RATOM Functional, Interoperability and Reuse Extensions (RATOM-FIRE) project will allow easier export of email messages as individual (EML) files; capturing more detailed preservation metadata; and expand the public application programming interface (API) of the RATOM software library to facilitate easier integration into other tools. 

Love the Words: Preserving the Email Collection of 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center, 92nd Street Y ($100,000.00)

A current count puts the 92Y’s Poetry Center’s email archive at almost 3 million messages. A collaboration between the Poetry Center and the digital-archive team at Stanford University Libraries, this project will apply the ePADD to the assessment and preservation of the email archive with the goal of developing a processing and accessibility model that other cultural centers might learn from and adopt for their own internal and external purposes.