2 Added graphs to illustrate my implementation of Quant-Guy's answer
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I am working with a set of covariance matrices evaluated at various points in time over some history. Each covariance matrix is $N\times N$ for $N$ financial time-series over $T$ periods. I would like to explore some of the properties of this matrix's evolution over time, particularly whether correlation as a whole is increasing or decreasing, and whether certain series become more or less correlated with the whole. I am looking for suggestions as to the kinds of analysis to perform on this data-set, and particularly graphical/pictorial analysis. Ideally, I would like to avoid having to look in depth into each series as $N$ is rather large.

Update

The following graphs were generated based on the accepted answer from @Quant-Guy. PC = principal component = eigenvector. The analysis was done on correlations rather than covariances in order to account for vastly different variances of the $N$ series. Principal Component Angle with Previous Month Principal Component Angle with Present Principal Component Angle with Initial

I am working with a set of covariance matrices evaluated at various points in time over some history. Each covariance matrix is $N\times N$ for $N$ financial time-series over $T$ periods. I would like to explore some of the properties of this matrix's evolution over time, particularly whether correlation as a whole is increasing or decreasing, and whether certain series become more or less correlated with the whole. I am looking for suggestions as to the kinds of analysis to perform on this data-set, and particularly graphical/pictorial analysis. Ideally, I would like to avoid having to look in depth into each series as $N$ is rather large.

I am working with a set of covariance matrices evaluated at various points in time over some history. Each covariance matrix is $N\times N$ for $N$ financial time-series over $T$ periods. I would like to explore some of the properties of this matrix's evolution over time, particularly whether correlation as a whole is increasing or decreasing, and whether certain series become more or less correlated with the whole. I am looking for suggestions as to the kinds of analysis to perform on this data-set, and particularly graphical/pictorial analysis. Ideally, I would like to avoid having to look in depth into each series as $N$ is rather large.

Update

The following graphs were generated based on the accepted answer from @Quant-Guy. PC = principal component = eigenvector. The analysis was done on correlations rather than covariances in order to account for vastly different variances of the $N$ series. Principal Component Angle with Previous Month Principal Component Angle with Present Principal Component Angle with Initial

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How do I graphically represent the evolution of a covariance matrix over time?

I am working with a set of covariance matrices evaluated at various points in time over some history. Each covariance matrix is $N\times N$ for $N$ financial time-series over $T$ periods. I would like to explore some of the properties of this matrix's evolution over time, particularly whether correlation as a whole is increasing or decreasing, and whether certain series become more or less correlated with the whole. I am looking for suggestions as to the kinds of analysis to perform on this data-set, and particularly graphical/pictorial analysis. Ideally, I would like to avoid having to look in depth into each series as $N$ is rather large.