The University of East Anglia's British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW) participates in and progresses the University’s international reputation for creative writing, the status of Norwich as a UNESCO City of Literature, and UEA’s strong links with writers of world renown.

It does this through international literary festivals, the British Centre for Literary Translation and the National Centre for Writing.

"We aim to develop and enrich the cultural value of literature and contemporary writing, and to enable a deeper understanding of the value and methods of the writing process through collecting writers’ archives and bringing them to a broad range of people from within the academic community and beyond."

Dr Nonia Williams, Academic Curator of the Doris Lessing Archive at UEA

Our most notable collections include  the extensive personal archive of the Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing, and literary material from other prize winning authors such as Naomi Alderman, Tash Aw, Malcolm Bradbury, Amit Chaudhuri, Adam Foulds, Andrew Cowan, Richard Beard, Charlie Higson, J.D. Salinger, Roger Deakin, Lorna Sage, Mark Cocker, Sara Taylor, WG Sebald and the acclaimed playwright, Snoo Wilson. 

our work with researchers, partners and collaborators

The archive is available to students, researchers and teaching staff as well as members of the public. We welcome approaches from researchers and visiting fellows at other institutions. We also work with heritage partners, writers and other institutions. Find out more here

collection development strategy

UEA is growing its existing collections significantly, under the strategic direction of a BACW Governance Group made up of Faculty and professional staff from UEA's Library Management Team. The Governance Group scrutinises archive offers and advises the BACW Executive on developing the collections for teaching, research and public engagement through exhibitions and special events. If you are considering approaching us with an archive please email

Storehouse model

The BACW has a highly innovative loan model which allows us to borrow archive material from contemporary writers for teaching, research and public engagement for shorter periods (6 months+) than the traditional minimum loan period of 20 years.  The Frequently Asked Questions link below provides further information.

The storehouse model - frequently asked questions (PDF)