Primary Source Annotation Assignment


For this assignment, students find two Rose Library documents that related to an assigned text and then find a secondary source to contextualize the primary source. For each primary source, students write a 250-word description and an annotated bibliography of 100 words for each secondary source describing how it relates to the primary source. Students will write a 200-word introduction to the project. Students will need to visit the reading room to complete the assignment

    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 materialsuse critical thinking and reading skills to make connections between what they discover in the archive and what they study in class
    • write a thesis driven argument
    • use secondary sources to enhance and support their research.

    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

    • Recommended: a class visit by Rose Library staff to teach students how to locate and request appropriate materials in our collections through an interactive workshop session. We recommend scheduling this prior to the Rose Library session.
    • Introduction to the Rose Library (if this is the first class visit)
    • Introduction to the materials in use
    • Care and handling instructions
    • Rose Library session will be a group work session

    Students will write 250-word descriptions for each item they examine in the archive. They will also write a 100-word annotated bibliography entry for each secondary source. They will also write a 250-word introduction for the project.

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

    To cite this page:

    Peterson, Dawn. "Primary Source Annotation Assignment," Rose Library Teaching with Archives Portal, [date of access],

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


    Dr Dawn Peterson
    Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Emory

    Used In
    HIST 385 Women, Race & the South

    This course studies this history of the Ameican South, focussing on women and their role and voices.

    Most suitable for an upper-level history course

    Adaptable for use in art history or literature classes

    Highlighted Materials

    Course Materials
    Printable Assignment Sheet