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Digital Preservation

Saving Emails from Microsoft Outlook

Long-term storage of electronic mail must be done outside of the email program. Email programs, like most technology, evolve and change at rapid pace. Major changes or loss of support can lead to total loss of content.

The Outlook email client can archive emails within the system for extended periods of time if appropriate steps are taken. If you want to archive your correspondence in Outlook, you can contact the IMT helpdesk for support. This will ensure that emails are not automatically deleted from your account after a specific period of time. 

Long-term preservation of emails requires that they be saved outside of Outlook. Use the following steps to save emails to a secure server.

  1. Open the email you wish to saveOutlook Icons - Download 63 Free Outlook icons here
  2. Go to File > Save As Adobe PDF
  3. The file name will automatically populate with the email subject line
  4. File name: use_lowercase_no_spaces_June_6_2017 (date should be the date the email string began). Recommend to change the file name to the date of correspondence, contact person's name, and a clear description of topic
  5. Save as type should read PDF files
  6. Current Directory: Create a folder on your network drive for storing all emails designated for preservation. Save each email to this folder. Ensure this folder is on a network drive for backup purposes. Creating a folder on your computer’s hard drive will not prevent loss in the event your machine’s hard drive fails.
  7. Click SAVE
  8. Open the folder on your network drive, you should see the email saved as a PDF

If you have emails you think should be archived, please contact the Archives & Special Collections department.

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