We present Themail, a visualization that portrays relationships using the interaction histories preserved in email archives. Using the content of exchanged messages, it shows the words that characterize one’s correspondence with an individual and how they change over the period of the relationship. This paper describes the interface and content-parsing algorithms in Themail. It also presents the results from a user study where two main interaction modes with the visualization emerged: exploration of “big picture” trends and themes in email (haystack mode) and more detail-oriented exploration (needle mode). Finally, the paper discusses the limitations of the content parsing approach in Themail and the implications for further research on email content visualization.