In 2009, Arizona archivists determined that they wanted to tackle a statewide survey of collections to address collaborative collection development and documentation of underrepresented communities and subjects. This case study examines the Arizona Archives Matrix Project, a multi-institutional survey initiative that puts collaboration and collection development under a critical lens. The process entailed winnowing the state down to under 50 subject categories, developing a survey tool, and querying archivists about their collections. This article looks at some of the successes of an undertaking such as the Matrix, as well as the ethical and logistical issues of a metrics-based approach to understanding collections.
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