E-mail Trove Is Big Job for Bush Library

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Along with the obligatory replica of the Oval Office, the George W. Bush Presidential Center will house a less conventional collection of presidential artifacts: Millions of e-mails.

The one billion pages or so in electronic White House correspondence during George W. Bush's eight years in office are unprecedented in the history of presidential libraries, scholars said. They promise to offer an unvarnished look at the inner workings of the Bush administration that hasn't been possible for other presidencies. But first, the roughly 200 million emails have to be reviewed by the center's archivists, a process that could take a long time. With current technology, archivists can only review about 800,000 pages a year. The Bush library is at the forefront of a growing problem for the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, the federal agency that keeps the nation's trove of historic documents. The digital stacks of information it has to process are rapidly expanding as more of the government's business is conducted via e-mail.


E-mail Trove Is Big Job for Bush Library