Label Copy Assignment

Label from Still Raising Hell: The Art, Activism, and Archives of Camille Billops and James V. Hatch


For this assignment, students will examine materials in the Rose Library, selecting five objects to include in an imagined exhibit. Students write descriptive display labels of 200 words for each of their selected objects, and they will write a 500 word introduction to their exhibit. Students will arrange the labels in the order of their imagined exhibit.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this assignment, students will be able to

  • conduct archival research
  • read library catalogue and finding aid information
  • practice appropriate care and handling of archival materials
  • write for a specific audience
  • identify and write within given genre conventions

Preparation for Session

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


Here’s what you can expect during your class session

  • Introduction to the Rose Library (if this is the first class visit)
  • Introduction to the materials in use
  • Care and handling instructions
  • Speed dating session format (recommended)

Final Products

For this assignment, students produce five 200 word labels and one 500 word introduction.

Instructors may require students to create blog posts or other low-stakes writing as scaffolding activities in preparation for creating their labels.

Instructors may require students to write a reflection essay in which they explain and justify the selections they made for their exhibition and the rhetorical choices they made in crafting and arranging their labels.

Recommended Collections

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:
Langmuir Collection
Danowski Poetry Library
Civil War Collection
Southern Christian Leadership Conference Collection
Billops-Hatch Archive and Collection
Yeats (manuscripts and books), Maude Gonne (collection and Yeats letters), Lady Gregory (papers and books), Cuala Press (collections and books)
Emory University Archives
Flannery O’Connor (collection and papers), Sally Fitzgerald Letters
Ted Hughes Papers and library
Seamus Heaney Papers and Collection
Alice Walker Papers
Salman Rushdie Papers


This assignment works best if students have a strong sense of connection between the artifacts they are viewing, so in selecting materials for your students to see, try to find items that have a clear relationship, or consider how you can help your students find the connection.

It is also recommended that students develop a "curatorial statement" in their introduction label that articulates the argument or narrative of their exhibition. This spin on the thesis statement allows students to build on prior knowledge and leads to discussions about genre, audience, and purpose.


To cite this page:

Harsh, Sarah. "Label Copy Assignment," Rose Library Teaching with Archives Portal, [date of access],

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