This paper reports on the Archival Metrics Project, which developed, tested, and evaluated a set of toolkits designed to overcome some of the challenges of conducting user-based evaluation in college and university archival repositories. The Archival Metrics Project is ongoing. The initial toolkits result from a five-year, two-phase project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The project involved academics from three North American universities and twenty partners from academic archival institutions. At the completion of the study, the researchers interviewed ten archivists at partner institutions who took part in the testing of the toolkits and one year later gathered data using a questionnaire from fifty-nine individuals who downloaded the toolkits. The paper describes previous research on user-based evaluation in archives and similar projects conducted in the library field, the process of developing and testing five questionnaires and various methods to administer the questionnaires, as well as the evaluation of the toolkits. It concludes with a discussion of the issues raised about adoption and diffusion of these instruments.

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