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Unboxed – Volunteering opportunity with the British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW) and the Sainsbury Centre

The British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW) based in the Library at UEA, holds correspondence and draft manuscripts from some of our greatest writers and provides a fascinating insight into their inner lives and creative process.

There are lots of hidden gems and in 2019 we worked with a group of Faculty of Humanities students to develop creative responses to the Doris Lessing 100 exhibition and an exhibition of these at the Millennium Library in Norwich. 


What was involved?

We worked with eight students to explore Doris Lessing’s archive, and interpret its contemporary significance for new audiences. Students worked with artists, writers and curators to put together a display of selected work.

The students enjoyed privileged access to the archives of some of our world renowned writers and received training in literary archive research and archive handling as well as support in blog writing and social media. Volunteers also worked with Sainsbury Centre staff to develop skills in interpretation and curation.

The work was presented within the Millennium Library and UEA Library and was the focus of the event 'Lessing in the Library' in January 2020. 

We would like to thank all of our student contributors for their incredible work which has been archived with the centenary exhibition materials.