Attachment Converter

Table of Contents

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0.0.1. an open-source tool for batch-converting email attachments to preservation formats

Attachment Converter is an open-source command-line tool for digital archivists. Given an email mailbox in MBOX format, it will go through that mailbox and batch convert all the attachments it can into preservation formats, putting a converted copy of each attachment back into the email from which it originated. The user can then re-open the new mailbox in a mail user agent, such as Apple Mail, and browse through the mailbox the normal way.


1. Quick Start Commands

Get started running Attachment Converter using these commands:

# To convert attachments of a single email
$ attc --single-email < example-email.eml > example-email-converted.eml

# To run a report of a mailbox
$ attc --report < example.mbox

# To convert attachments of a mailbox
$ attc < example.mbox > example-converted.mbox

Note that the input mailbox must be in MBOX format. If you have an Outlook .pst file and want to convert it to .mbox in order to be able to run Attachment Converter on it, we have found Libpst to be a useful utility for doing that conversion.

2. About

This project originates from the UChicago Library Digital Library Development Center and was funded by an Email Archives: Building Capacity and Community grant, led by the University of Illinois with support provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The current development team is:

Matt has been project manager for the initial development phase and is getting ready to transition into the lead developer role. Previous (and possibly future?) members of our illustrious dev team include:

We are also grateful to Keith Waclena for allowing us to tap into his endless wisdom regarding the email specification, UNIX systems programming, and the OCaml language throughout our work on this project.


Author: Matt Teichman

Created: 2023-08-24 Thu 16:42