Managing the University Digital Desktop  
  Managing the Digital University Desktop
Site Index
Documentation Index
Timeline and Results Index
Frequently Asked Questions


Team Members

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Main Section Dr. Helen Tibbo
Main Section Timothy Pyatt
Main Section Dr. Paul Conway
Main Section David Mitchell, CRM
Main Section Frank Holt
Main Section Janis Holder
Main Section Kimberly Chang
Main Section Megan Winget
Main Section Ruth Monnig
Main Section Interactive Tutorial
Main Section F.A.Q. : Electronic File Management
Main Section

F.A.Q. : Email Management

Main Section Electronic Records Presentations (PPT)
Main Section Email Management Presentations (PPT)
General Resources
Main Section UNC University Archives & Records Service
Main Section UNC Email Retention Guidelines
Main Section Duke University Records Management Program
Main Section Email as a Public Record in North Carolina
Main Section State Email Policies

Managing the Digital University Desktop: Welcome!

"Managing the Digital Desktop" is a National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant funded project to study computer file management practices in academic units and administrative offices here at UNC-CH, across the 16-campus UNC System, and at Duke University.

Latest News:

June 2006

This project has ended. This website is no longer being updated, but will remain available as a resource to the archival and records communities. Any questions or comments should be directed to Helen Tibbo at UNC - Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science.

Although the funding for this project ended in December 2005, and many members of the team are now dispersed at other institutions, several of us are still conducting workshops based on the products we have produced; refining these products, and continuing to write, publish, and present papers. As with much research, this project remains a work in progress.

April 2006

In April, Professor Tibbo and Dr. Pyatt presented findings and best practices to attendees at the Mid Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC). The conference website:

September 2005

On September 23 UNC will host a Manageing the Digital University Desktop Symposium and Workshop to discuss our findings! This event is sponsored by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, Triangle Research Libraries Network and the Robertson Scholars Program.

Presentations Avaliable:
Downloadable Video:
  • Lee Stout - Keynote Address == Download Video (right click; "download linked file as...")
  • Wrapup with Lee Stout and Paul Conway == Download Video (right click; "download linked file as...")

August 2005

We have completed the Email and Electronic Records Management Powerpoint files for your use in presentations.

Email Management

Electronic Records Management

Developed by the "Managing the Digital University Desktop Project", a collaborative effort of the School of Information and Library Science and the Academic Affairs Libraries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Duke University Libraries.

Funding for this project is provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

July 2005

We have completed the interactive tutorial!

This tutorial covers what to keep, how to keep it, what to delete and why, and how to set up a filing system for your emails and electronic files. It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete the tutorial.

Link to it using this URL:

May 2005

David Mitchell used data from the MDUD project in his presentation "Obstacles to implementing a records management program." at the 13th Annual Flordia Records Management Association's Meeting in Boca Raton.

April 2005

Megan Winget used data from the MDUD project in his presentation "Email management is not a natural act" at the Triangle ARMA spring seminar.

March 2005

Janis Holder presented "Empowering the Individual: Managing the Digital University Desktop" at the 2005 ECURE Conference in Tempe, Arizona. Janis discussed the management of faculty research data, the concept of email as a record and how the interviewees view email, and the issues of privacy and ownership of institutional electronic records. She also reviewed the development of the instructional tools which were created from this project.

November 2004

Kimberly Chang presented a poster titled, "Managing the Digital University Desktop: Are user behaviors helping or hindering records management programs?" at the 2004 ASIST Annual Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island.

Professor Tibbo  presented “Researching the Researchers: Finding Out How Employees Manage Their Digital Materials” at the NHPRC Electronic Records Research Fellowship Symposium, Chapel Hill, NC       

October 2004

Professor Tibbo gave an invited public presentation at the University of Toronto, titled “Researching the Researchers: Finding Out How Employees Manage Their Digital Materials."

Professor Tibbo also presented  “Managing and Archiving Records in the Digital Era: Challenges and a Vision for the Future of Archives and Records Management”  ERPANET Research Workshop at the Swiss Federal Archives, Bern, Switzerland. Discussed MDUD findings    

In Managing and Archiving Records in the Digital Era. Bern, Switzerland: ERPANET, forthcoming. While not specifically on this project, much of my discussion at this symposium centered on the MDUD project.   

August 2004

Several members of the project team presented "Managing the Digital Desktop: Research Results and Initial Findings" at the SAA Annual Meeting in Boston. Project staff will describe how these data have been analyzed and the products that are being developed, including e-mail and desktop management policies, “best practice” guidelines, and workshops, handbooks, exercises, and Web-based courses, to optimize management of desktop electronic documents.

Professor Tibbo also presented “Managing the Digital University Desktop.”      Triangle ARMA Meeting, RESEARCH Triangle Park, NC.

April 2004

On April 24th, Tim Pyatt used project data for his presentation, Privacy and Confidentiality Issues in Private Institutions: Email as an archival record, delivered at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference in Arlington, VA. The presentation discussed the Duke University faculty and employee privacy and email ownership concerns uncovered by this project.

March 2004

The "Email Management Tools" workshop took place on March 10, 2004 from 9:30 - 1:30 at Perkins Library. Forty-two participants from Duke and UNC discussed six different FAQs regarding how to manage email and evaluated them for their usefulness and potential workplace application. See the Workshop Agenda and Workshop Summary for more details.

Tibbo provided the first look at our findings from our interview data at the ECURE conference in Tempe, Arizona. Her presentation, titled "Managing the Digital University Desktop: Now and for the Future" gives an overview of the project and highlights data collected regarding the appraisal, retention, and deletion of electronic documents.  

September 2003

We've created a Fact Sheet that highlights some of the results from the email survey conducted in the Fall of 2002.

August 2003

Tibbo presents "Managing the Digital Desktop: Campus Confidential" at the Society of American Archivists 2003 Annual Meeting as part of the "To Have But Not to Hold: Issues of Institutional and Private Ownership of E-Mail Records" program session. This presentation gave an overview of the project, results from the survey, and conclusions from the analysis of concerns regarding privacy and security. It also deals with a few questions regarding privacy and security from the interviews.

July 2003

Tibbo has published an article in the Journal of the Society of North Carolina Archivists on the project.

"Managing the Digital University Desktop: Understanding and Empowering the Individual; Preserving the Public Records and Institutional History." Journal of the Society of North Carolina Archivists 2/1 (July 2003): 29-40.

April 2003

2003 Pyatt and Tibbo applied for and received $1,000 from the Robertson Scholarship Collaboration Fund, a program that encourages and supports joint UNC-CH and Duke cooperative projects, to support a March 2004 meeting of focus groups from the two schools. Project staff will give a status report and present early drafts of e-mail and desktop management policies for discussion and feedback to the groups.

November 2001

Professor Tibbo presented a paper  “Evidence-Based E-Mail Management at UNC: A Search for Best Practices and User Compliance” at the 2001 ECURE Conference, Phoenix, AZ

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Managing the Digital University Desktop / University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill / School of Information and Library Science / 100 Manning Hall, CB 3360 / Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3360