Australia Launches Email Archive

    April 1, 2008

An Australian museum is creating Australia’s first email archive to capture a snapshot of Australian society and to celebrate the role email plays in daily communications.

Email AustraliaEmail Australia
(Photo Credit: Email Australia)

The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney has partnered with Windows Live Hotmail on the Email Australia project.  The museum’s computing and mathematics curator Matthew Connell said electronic mediums like email were on the verge of becoming unreadable as new technologies replaced them.

Speaking at the launch of Email Australia Connell said," As a museum of science and technology we have been very interested in email, and a bit concerned," Email has changed our work practices, changed the way we relate to our relatives and to our friends, and probably to our enemies. It’s certainly changing the way we use language, and probably the way we think."

To preserve the messages submitted during Email Australia they would be stored both digitally and physically on archival paper. Connell said the museum would remove the names on the emails so people would not be identified in any emails they submit.

Emails can be submitted in the following categories through May 16:

Life and laughter – funny forwards and tales of hilarity from everyday life.

Touching tales – personal emails that touch the soul.

Family – the first steps to the last, and all things in between.

Love and romance – emails to make you go "oooh".

Emails you regret sending – emails that make you go "aarggh".

Embarrassing typos – it’s amazing how easily meaning goes ashtray with a typo.

Current affairs – news and its affect on us, whether it’s locally or from abroad.

Complaints – for those moments when only "putting it in writing" will do.