Exhibition Add-on Assignment


For this assignment, students will explore an exhibition featuring Rose Library materials. Then, students will select up to 5 additional, related objects from the archive that they would add to the exhibition. To complete the assignment, students will write a catalogue essay for their selected item or group of items.

    After this assignment students will be able to

    • conduct independent archival research, including navigating finding aids and library catalogues and requesting materials
    • conduct additional research into topics and materials used in the exhibition
    • engage in critical thinking about the construction of exhibitions
    • use creative and critical thinking in a curatorial capacity
    • identify a significant audience for the exhibition, writing essays with that audience in mind
    • identify and utilize genre conventions for writing catalogue essays

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

    • Instructor should provide a clear goal of what students should accomplish during rotations
    • Prior to the session, 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 an object to complete the assignment successfully
    • Instructor should communicate to students whether they will be allowed to write their assignment based on the materials used during the session

    Here’s what you can expect during your class session

    • The curatorial tour should be done during a class session
    • The instructor may choose to have another curatorial session focussed on the composition of an exhibition catalogue
    • If students are new to archival research, there should be an instruction session for students to learn how to find, handle, and use materials. 
      • This session would involve instruction on finding aides and library catalogues
      • Students would spend the class time looking through boxes and book materials in stations

    Student will produce an essay of approximately 1,000 words about their selected object[s] and the relationship between their selection and the broader narrative of the exhibition.

    Relevant collections will vary depending on current Rose Library exhibitions. Please consult with Rose Library staff to determine how our materials can best serve your course goals.

    To cite this page:

    Early, Shanna. "Exhibition Add-On Assignment," Rose Library Teaching with Archives Portal, [date of access], http://rose.library.emory.edu/instruction/portal/assignments/exhibition-add-on.html.

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


    Shanna Early 
    PhD Candidate in the Department of English at Emory

    Used In 
    This assignment was created for this portal.


    • Adaptable for or any class for which a current exhibition is relevant. History and literature classes will be most likely candidates.
    • Can be combined with the Label Copy Assignment for a more robust assignment.

    Course Materials
    Printable Assignment Sheet