Friday, May 04, 2007
The same...only different
The first public e-mail archive is underway.

The British Library is compiling a national record of British life by email, the first of its kind, to become a part of its permanent archives. Contributors are asked to submit messages in categories including blunders, love and romance, complaints, humour, news, and tales from abroad. Less then 24 hours after its launch it had received more than 1,000 contributions...The email archive will join the library's collection of correspondence, which includes letters by well known literary figures, such as Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, Ted Hughes, George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde.

I'm not sure how I feel about this...on one hand, I bet it is going to be awesome and it probably does reflect the cultural communication pattern of our time. On the other, they should be embarrassed to put e-mail correspondence next to letters from Austen and Woolf. Those would have to be some pretty good e-mails.



Anonymous Alicia said...

I'm sure they will be picky with the e-mails they decide to add to their permanent archives.
I doubt they will be of the same category as letters from the literary figures you mentioned, but who knows, maybe the next Henry Miller is about to type a naughty e-mail to the next Anais Nin, and I so wanna read that!

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