>I would add to Bernard's response that the courts are increasingly reluctant
>to consider printed email as the copy of record - the standard precedent
>being the PROFs case.


Once again, I don't think Sharon was suggesting that printing was the ONLY

>In addition, both of the solutions Sharon describes may cause issues for
>email messages that include attachment(s), both in saving the message and
>attachment(s) and in accessing them at some future date.

And here, I must agree with you... being able to retain the attachments and
accessing them into the future can be problematic with server based
systems, BUT... the same may be true for any "e-mail management systems"
looking into the future.  As mentioned, there are the concerns for adequate
funding and stewardship for conversion and migration over time that
organizations may/will be faced with.

>Finally, with regards to printing, I get some 100 email a day that I
>consider records and store in my email archival application and to which I
>apply retention.

And the operative here is " which *I* apply retention..."  It's not
being done in an automated fashion, and I think that's where the "rub" is.

>Finding anything would go from seconds to minutes or hours.
>All these are problems that traditional paper and film-based records
>encounter and that electronic records seek to mitigate.

Again, I think this depends on the file naming conventions in this
system.  Don't misunderstand me... I don't print and file my e-mail, with
exception to copies of e-mail messages that I find critical and that I want
to be able to access FAR INTO THE FUTURE.  I manage my e-mail in a computer
environment, backup folders of categorized messages locally to removable
media and backup the entire repository to a SAN on a regular basis. But
this is because I have suffered catastrophic failures on *3* occasions in
the past, and was only able to recover from 2 of them.  The first time, I
put my faith in the system... a foolish mistake on my part.

>I don't think there is a right answer yet, but I've got to come down on
>Bernard's side on this one - there are very few circumstances under which I
>would save a born-digital record as paper anyway, but email is particularly
>difficult for the reasons above.

And I FULLY agree with you here, there isn't a "right answer" yet from a
systems approach, but the closest to right I've found is a hybrid approach,
one that employs the use of human intervention for classification and
machine based technology for storage and manipulation of electronic format
information, with the caveat that copies of critical information is
additionally stored in a hard-copy format for vital records protection.

my .02 for a hot and muggy Wednesday in the SF Bay Area...


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