Is it important to capture email metadata in the archive? Why?

In my opinion, the answer is "yes." Email normally has some metadata associated with it, including: where it came from, the server path, etc. If the company is sued (or is suing another company), they will be discovering (or asking for) emails within the system...

Email archiving information
Choosing an email archiving strategy

Choosing a compliance archiving tool 

Archiving unstructured data 
In my opinion, the answer is "yes." Email normally has some metadata associated with it, including: where it came from; the server path; etc. If the company is sued (or is suing another company), they will be discovering (or asking for) emails within the system. Having metadata around the message or messages can prove that it's an original message, it came through a certain set of servers, it arrived at a specific time and the message was reviewed at a certain time -- all of this metadata usually helps to prove originality and immutability of the message. If you have a choice, be sure to archive the entire email, any attachments and the associated metadata, so that you have a full picture of the email.

Listen to the Email archiving FAQ audiocast here.

Go back to the beginning of the Email Archiving FAQ Guide.

This was first published in October 2006

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