EIRA Hothouse for the Libraries and Archives Sector


On Thursday 14th January, EIRA held our fourth Hothouse event in partnership with BT. This Hothouse was delivered virtually by EIRA’s Digital Creative team and focused on exploring digital innovation for the libraries and archives sector.

The event attracted 66 attendees who heard from a diverse mix of academics and practitioners, all addressing innovation in product, service and method. The event sought to show the benefits of catalysing digital technologies for content and services, especially those innovations that focus on enhancing community engagement with the sector across the East of England.

Jeremy Davenport, from the University of Essex said:

“This Hothouse event recognised the important roles that Libraries and Archives play in our communities and the inspiring opportunities for innovation that digitally enabled technologies now provide for connecting the public to their content and services.  Yesterday’s event showcased a range of collaborations which demonstrate how Universities work in partnership to turn novel ideas for enhancing public engagement into working prototypes.”

The event featured the following speakers :

EIRA – Jeremy Davenport and Beth Sowersby, Knowledge Exchange Managers for the Digital Creative theme

BT – Andy Gower, Senior Manager, Research, Interactive and Immersive Content

The BBC – Bill ThompsonPrinciple Research Engineer and Author

The British Library – Maja Maricevic, Head of Higher Education and Science

Essex Record Office – Martin Astell, ERO Manager Digital Opportunities for the ERO 

ERO / University of Essex – Lewis Smith, PhD student

UEA and Norfolk Libraries / Unlocking the Archive – Thomas Roebuck, Researcher

Canterbury Cathedral – Cressida Williams, Head of Archives and Libraries

Suffolk Libraries – Bruce Leeke, Chief Executive

UEA Justine Mann, Archive of British Contemporary Writing

The KTN – Charlotte Thompson, Knowledge Transfer Manager Access to Funding & Finance


We’ll be publishing a full report of the Hothouse event soon on our Case Studies page, but for now, EIRA would like to stay connected to the speakers and attendees by carrying on the conversation in a dedicated LinkedIn group. If you missed the event, we’ll also be posting video content from the day on our Vimeo channel soon.