Emeline Levasseur, André Falut


The Archives nationales (France) have been collecting mailboxes in PST and Mbox format since 2017, and have ingested 40 of them in their digital repository, based on the Vitam software and the SEDA standard, since its opening in 2018. In order to do so, they came up with a mailbox-specific preservation strategy.

This strategy involves transferring each mailbox to the repository as a set of two SIP (prepared by the archival services of ministries, or by the Archives nationales for data migration), one containing a raw export, the other containing the individual messages in both EML and TXT format, as well as their extracted metadata and attachments. The latter SIP is obtained by processing the mailbox in the SIP preparation tool ReSIP, developed by the Vitam team.

The goals are to ensure the preservation of messages and their attachments and to make it possible to answer access requests. As the first access requests on mailboxes recently came in, current reflection is particularly focused on this aspect.

While effective, this strategy has limitations and is meant to evolve as the Archives nationales research means of access to archived mailboxes, monitor relevant tools and publications and experiment.

This intervention is intended for an audience of archivists involved in collecting, preserving and giving access to mailboxes or interested in that topic. We envision it as a talk in three parts: a summary of the Archives nationales’ institutional and technical context, a presentation of the preservation strategy and an overview of evolution prospects.

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Day Three – June 15
Emeline Levasseur, André Falut