Using Born-Digital Archives for Business History: EMCODIST and the Case of E-Mail

David Kirsch*, Stephanie Decker, Adam Nix, Santhilata Kuppili Venkata

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Historians of business and management increasingly conduct research in digital archives. This article reviews some of the challenges and opportunities associated with the use of born-digital archives. As an example, we focus on scholarly use of large-scale organizational e-mail collections. In addition to allowing researchers to answer traditional questions about innovation, strategy and organizational development, e-mail also permits more granular investigation of new questions, such as those relating to the timing and flow of information inside organizational networks. Knowledge discovery in e-mail requires new search tools. We describe EMCODIST, a prototype tool that we have developed to support search and discovery in e-mail. Scholars interested in learning more are directed to a grant-funded website where versions of the EMCODIST tool support different types of searches.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalManagement & Organizational History
Early online date26 Feb 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Feb 2023


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