To celebrate the UK launch of the new Windows Live Hotmail, the UK’s no 1 email service has announced a unique collaboration with the British Library, to create the first ever archive of British emails today.

The ‘Email Britain’ campaign, which will run throughout May, asks the British public to make email history by forwarding a memorable or significant email from their sent mail or inbox, for inclusion in a digital archive that will be stored at the British Library for future generations.

Email has become the most important communication tool for the 21st century with millions of emails containing rich and diverse content sent in the UK every day* none of which have been captured and archived on this scale before. The Email Britain collection of real-life emails will provide an important snapshot of British life over email the good, the bad, the ugly and the amusing to produce a unique social history catalogue of life and culture in Britain today which can be read and enjoyed by Library visitors for centuries to come.

Jo Wickremasinghe, Windows Live Hotmail spokesperson, said: As we enter a new phase for email with the launch of the new Windows Live Hotmail, we wanted to preserve a slice of email history by recording the best of email to date. We want to capture the biggest possible cross-section of emailing life in the Email Britain archive, and we urge people to dig out their best emails and pass them on for everyone to enjoy!

John Tuck, Head of British Collections at the British Library, said: Email has in many respects replaced traditional forms of communications such as letters or memoranda, thousands of examples of which we have at the British Library. In the digital age email has become prevalent in our day-to-day lives. Email Britain will allow us to archive a vast snapshot of our present-day email communications and will be of great value for future researchers. Digital archiving of email has never been attempted before on this scale and we’re very excited to be capturing such a rich slice of contemporary life.

To contribute to the Email Britain archive, emailers should log on to www.newhotmail.co.uk/emailbritain for more information, or email directly to email@emailbritain.co.uk. Emails should be submitted under one of the following categories which should be typed into the subject box of the email: Blunders, Life Changing Emails, Complaints, Spam, Love and Romance, Humour, Everyday Emails, News, World Around You, Tales from Abroad.