Carcanet Press Email Preservation Project

The University of Manchester Library's Carcanet Press Email Preservation Project won the award for 'safeguarding the digital legacy' at the Digital Preservation Awards in January 2015.

Collecting institutions like the University of Manchester Library are increasingly facing the challenge of preserving 'born digital' material when acquiring recent and contemporary archives.

One of the most important modern archives held by the Library is that of Carcanet Press, one of the UK’s premier poetry publishing houses. Correspondence with poets, critics, editors, translators and artists is a key element of this archive and provides a rich resource for researchers. Most of this correspondence is now conducted by email.

This JISC-funded project aims to tackle the challenge of capturing and preserving the email archive of Carcanet Press.

Basing its work on traditional archival practice and digital preservation standards, the project is using this email archive as a test-bed for practical digital preservation.

The project will test and assess existing tools for metadata extraction, validation, migration, packaging and ingest. Different long-term preservation formats for email will also be explored.

The project team is developing documentation and workflows which can be adapted so that the JRUL is well-placed to deal with similar born-digital archives in the future.

Read the final project report.