National Archives Issues Guidance for Managing Billions of Federal Emails
Press Release · Thursday, August 29, 2013

Washington, DC…The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has issued guidance for Federal agencies on a simplified approach to managing email. NARA Bulletin 2013-02: Guidance on a New Approach to Managing Email Records introduces a new approach to managing the billions of email messages that are sent or received in Federal agencies. The approach is called “Capstone.”

The Capstone approach will help agencies satisfy requirements in the Managing Government Records Directive. Specifically, it will help them manage all email records electronically by December 31, 2016 (Goal 1.2 of the Directive).

The Bulletin is a culmination of two years of research with input from Federal agencies. It is designed to preserve permanently valuable email and provide a pathway to dispose of temporary email. It allows agencies to manage email without having to use “print and file” or “click and drag” methods for each email message.

Agencies adopting Capstone will be able to manage email at the account level. They will need to identify officials whose email is likely to contain permanently valuable information and manage their accounts. The remaining email accounts can be managed as temporary records and preserved for as long as the agency needs for business operations.

Agencies are not required to adopt the Capstone approach, but NARA encourages its use. Capstone is flexible and allows agencies to tailor the approach to meet their needs. For more information on this new approach to email guidance, see NARA’s National Records Management Program’s official blog at

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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