Archives Laboratory Assignment


This semester-long assignment requires students to work in groups during once-weekly visits to the archive. Students choose 10-12 items that represent its group to create an online exhibition of those materials. Each week, students will create a record for one item they discovered during their archival session, noting the object and identifying information about it.

    After completing this assignment, students will be able to

    • conduct advanced independent archival research
    • read library catalogue and finding aid information
    • practice appropriate care and handling of archival materials
    • use sustained critical thinking and reading skills over a long period of time to make connections between what they discover in the archive, what they study in class, and current events
    • analyze primary sources
    • compose and share information on digital platforms

    In order to make the most of your time during your Rose Library sessions, please be sure to prepare your students in advance.

    • Instructor should provide a clear goal of what students should accomplish during each visit
    • Students should understand what they are looking for while examining the materials
    • Students should have a clear sense of what they need to know about each object to complete the assignment successfully

    Here’s what you can expect during your class sessions:

    • Introduction to the Rose Library (on the first class visit)
    • Care and handling instructions (on the first class visit)
    • Students work independently during weekly sessions toward group goals
    • Each session includes class discussion of materials at the end of class

    Students will produce an online exhibition using Omeka, which will include artifacts from the Rose Library.

    Any collection, or combination of materials from different collections, can be used for this assignment. Relevant collections will vary with course topics. Please consult with Rose Library staff to determine how our materials can best serve your course goals.

    Suggested collections:

    To cite this page:

    Troka, Donna. "Resisting Racism Exhibition Project," Rose Library Teaching with Archives Portal, [date of access],

    Please cite this portal and give credit to the creator when using this assignment.


    Dr Donna Troka
    Associate Director at the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence at Emory

    Used In

    IDS 385: Resisting Racism: From Civil Rights to #BlackLivesMatter
    A highly focused interdisciplinary course that focused on the history of public resistance to racism, with a particular focus on comparing the Black Lives Matter Movement with the American Civil Rights Movement of the 60s.


    • suitable for upper-level classes in history, English, and various other disciplines
    • easily adaptable to suit a variety of course topics