[ih] Any suggestions for first uses of "e-mail" or "email"?

Craig Partridge craig at aland.bbn.com
Mon Aug 10 05:33:19 PDT 2015

Hi Jack:

Quick comments on two points you raise.

> I think the network, i.e., the ARPANET and its successor The Internet,
> changed the way that people interact, and changed the culture of how
> such interactions were recorded, if at all.   Rough consensus, achieved
> over ephemeral means, and running code didn't leave as much of a trail
> of papers and publications in their wake.

While a lot of this is right, we did leave around more ephemera than
people tend to think.  I grabbed the MSGGROUP, HEADER-PEOPLE and NAMEDROPPERS
archives before they vanished (I believe due to the realization that
posters still owned copyright - but perhaps they have re-emerged) and there's
a lot of material there.

Once IETF started, interim ideas are often at least mentioned in the meeting
reports (which are on-line).

I was able to use this to reconstruct (along with a lot of personal
recollections) the history of the development of Internet email.

> For example, during the 80s the ARPANET technology embraced X.25, and
> deployed networks following the CCITT vision, presumably paving the way
> for adoption of the CCITT/ISO approach.  But I don't think much of that
> story about that era of ARPANET evolution was written, except in the
> informal world of emails and such.

Also in the monthly reports and final project reports to DISA and DARPA.

Unfortunately that material, while at the National Archives, is not yet
publicly available (I checked as many ARPANET maps survive only in those
reports and I was hoping to access them).  Sometime in the future, some
historian will mine that material.  Of course it could be centuries from
now (I'm reminded that many medieval records remain under- or unstudied).



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