[Excerpt] As with most institutions, Michigan State University now communicates official university business through e-mail messages rather than traditional paper memos. The university’s IT Services department periodically sends out aggregations of these Deans, Directors, and Chairs (DDC) messages that originate in various offices and departments. Many of the messages include supplementary information as attachments, typically in PDF, DOC, XSL, and/or PPT file formats.
Per MSU’s retention schedules, DDC messages have historical value and must be preserved and made accessible. The original file formats—MSG (Windows PC) or EML (Apple Macintosh)—could be converted to MBOX or EML (if necessary), de facto preservation format standards for e-mail, and accessed in nearly any e-mail program. With the DDC messages functioning as unidirectional memos, however, the University Archives & Historical Collections (UAHC) decided to take a simpler approach and convert them to PDF format. The original appearance of the message would be retained, including the header.