British Library, You've Got Mail, and It's Not Spam





In the collection of the British Library there are two Gutenberg Bibles, two copies of Magna Carta, five copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio and now something new: your e-mail messages.

Or at least ones like them. Throughout this month the library, in partnership with Microsoft, has been collecting e-mail notes that ordinary Britons and others have sent — 13,807 so far — as a way of capturing a sense of life in the 21st century.

“E-mail is the first major upheaval in written English since the invention of the printing press,” said Jonnie Robinson, a sociolinguistic and education specialist at the library who has been working on the project, known as Email Britain.



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