thunderbird to (hosted) gmail

My school (UW) recently allowed students to switch their school email accounts over to one of 2 providers: Google (via gmail) or Microsoft (via Outlook Web Access).  Feeling the inexorable pull of the cloud, I decided to take the plunge and switch to gmail, but one thing held me back.  I have used Thunderbird for a few years now and have accumulated roughly 1GB of archived messages that are generally unimportant but occasionally vital.  I’ve also espoused Lifehacker’s Trusted Trio email organization system and so many of the emails in my archive are tagged for easier organization.

I’d like to have this email archive searchable from gmail.  And I would really like to have all those tags I’ve accumulated over the years show up as gmail “labels”.  Fortunately, this isn’t too difficult thanks to the following: Continue reading