Microsoft is collaborating with the British Library to create the first archive of British emails.

The ‘Email Britain’ campaign, announced today, ties in with the UK launch of the new Windows Live Hotmail. It will run throughout May, and calls for the British public to forward memorable email from their sent mail and inbox for inclusion in a digital archive that will be stored at the British Library for generations to come.

Jo Wickremasinghe, spokesperson for Windows Live Hotmail, said: “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.”

Ten categories have been created for the emails, which will be permanently archived. Amongst these topics are blunders, life changes, news and complaints.

“Digital archiving has never been attempted before on this scale and we’re very excited to be capturing such a rich slice of contemporary life,” said John Tuck, head of British Collections at the British Library.

To contribute to the archive, emailers should log on to the Email Britain site or email directly to [email protected]

Read our comment on this project here. Could it be the end of email as we know it?