In Maine and other states, official record-keepers are searching for ways to preserve e-mails and other electronically stored information that will be of interest to researchers, genealogists, historians, policy makers and the public in years to come.
Since 1970, governments have been developing ways to extract material from a variety of record-keeping systems, such as punch cards, said Victoria Irons Walch, executive director of the Council of State Archivists in Iowa City, Iowa.
In Maine, Angus King, who governed from 1995 to 2003, recognized the issue and directed that his e-mails be made into hard copy for archival purposes, establishing at least an informal state protocol for saving electronic copy.
Now, Maine is moving toward a more formal procedure. The state is screening bids from 14 companies that are outlining ways to capture, store and maintain electronic files. This may also bring about a way to sift through e-mails by using keywords to isolate and capture those containing information about pertinent subjects.
You can read more about this topic in an Associated Press article by Glenn Adams at http://tinyurl.com/3a5xtm.