Why use metrics in archives?

Innovative archivists, manuscript curators, and records managers need to know:

  • How effectively does this repository support our users’ research needs?
  • Are we learning as an organization by using data collected about the use of our collections to drive program improvement?
  • Can we demonstrate our effectiveness in support of our unit's goals?
Our project seeks to promote a culture of assessment in the archival domain by creating standardized user-based evaluation tools and other performance measures. Our user-based evaluation toolkits are ready-made packages that include validated, tested questionnaires, administration and coding instructions, and sample reports illustrating how to effectively communicate study results to others. Adoption of these standardized measures will support the movement to allow repositories to compare their performance with others' thereby identifying best practices, and helping all institutions improve their user services.

Archival Metrics and Economic Impact - Presentation Slides

Here is a copy of Wendy Duff's slides from her presentation "Archival Metrics and Economic Impact," from the International Perspectives on Digital Preservation Conference, held in Wellington, New Zealand, on February 14, 2011.

Spanish Translation of Researcher Questionnaire Available

The Researcher Questionnaire is now available in Spanish! Visit the Researcher Tookit page or click the link below to download the Spanish version of this questionnaire, translated by Hilda T. Ayala, School of Library and Information Science at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus.

New Toolkit- Focus Groups for Archives Toolkit

A new toolkit has been posted to the Archival Metrics site, the Focus Groups for Archives Toolkit. The toolkit contains an administration guide to design and run your own focus group, a script for a sample focus group on 'Social media and Archives', a ranking exercise to use during the focus group, and two versions of a demographic survey. You can download this toolkit here. As always, email archivalmetricsadmin@umich.edu with any questions about this or any of the toolkits!

Archival Metrics Poster from 2010 SAA Conference

Here is a copy of the poster presented this past summer at the SAA Conference by Ayoung Yoon, Ricardo Punzalan, and Amber Cushing. The poster, entitled "Economic Impact of Archives on Local Communities" reports the findings from an Economic Impact Survey conducted as part of the Archival Metrics Project during the summer of 2009.

Please see the link below to view the poster.

Measuring the Economic Impact of Government Archives: A Nationwide Study

Government archives are widely viewed as having cultural and legal importance. These archives impact the lives of citizens by preserving their rights, archives help form identify and community through genealogical and local history research, and provide evidence of property rights and boundaries for a variety of government officials, private businesses, and individuals. Government archives are widely used. According to the State of State Records, state archives average thousands of on-site visitors a year.

Government archives are often viewed as a service totally supported by taxpayer dollars. Where allowed by law, some may charge for selected items or charge to recoup costs, such as for the reproduction of documents. However, the role of government archives in the local and regional economies has not been explored in the United States.

The Economic Impact Survey (EIS) of Government Archives is the most comprehensive survey of its type in the United States. The Archival Metrics Project team administered the EIS as part of a larger project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Throughout the final week of August and the first week of September 2009, 43 government repositories (state, county, and municipal) administered the survey in their repositories. Participating government archives were instructed to offer the survey to each unique researcher who visited their facility. The survey was anonymous. In total, 1966 surveys were returned demonstrating the dynamics of economic impact during that period. Important findings include:

    • Archives were the primary destination of most respondents; 69% stated that they planned their trip specifically to visit the archives.

    • On average visitors travelled 214 miles to visit the archives.

    • Economic impact is generally measured by examining cultural tourism. This survey was timed to capture local visitors as well as cultural tourism. This is important since most visitors to government archives are local.

    • Almost all respondents spent money in the local community in connection with their archives visit.

    - 91% of the local visitors spent between $1 and $99 dollars during their visit.
    - Archival visitors from further away spent more: 36% spent between $1 and $99 dollars; 35% spent between $100 and $499; 15% spent between $500 and $999, and 7% spent between both $1000 to $1499 and $1500 and above.
    - 41% of the visitors from a distance and 20% of those living in the area plan to visit other sites in conjunction with their archives visit.
    - 38% of visitors from outside the area and 19% of the local visitors shop or use local services in conjunction with their archives visit
    - 69% of those from outside the area and 33% of those from the area eat in nearby restaurants
    - Even within the 2 week window in which this survey was done, this amounts to thousands of people.

Extrapolated to an entire year this amounts to significant economic activity resulting from archives visits.

For further details.

Resetting your password

If you had an account on the old Archival Metrics site, you should have gotten an email with information about changing your password.

In the move, we kept your accounts and usernames, but lost the passwords! To reset your password, use the one-time log in information in the email, then go to My Account and click on the 'Edit' tab. You'll see boxes where you can enter a password of your choosing.

If you had an account but didn't get an email, please send an email to archivalmetricsadmin@umich.edu and we'll get you squared away.

What's new?

We updated our site! Feel free to take a look around. Feedback is always welcome. You can email the team at archivalmetricsadmin@umich.edu or look up any of our email addresses on the Archival Metrics Investigators page.

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