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The Basque Government Archive and Documentary Heritage Service took the name Irargi, Basque Country Documentary Heritage Centre at the start of the 1990s. As a Category A member of the International Council on Archives, Irargi designs the Basque Government Archive and Documentary Heritage policy. This receives basic support from the Basque Cultural Heritage Law, dated 3rd July 1990, developed by the Archive Ruling of 21st November 2000 and it is financed via governmental Public Budgets.

By applying its exclusive competence on the Basque Country Documentary Heritage and the complex responsibility which this supposes, Irargi has adopted this line of specialisation with the firm objective of meeting the different user segments’ demands for information.

Supported on the bases provided by the Basque Country National Archive System, SNAE, these Programmes have been designed for the most important segments of this Heritage. Irargi thereby encourages and supports Municipal Archive management and works on organising and diffusing non public Archives, fundamentally those referring to the Family and the Catholic Church. Within the field of Public Archives, Irargi is running a particularly intense activity regarding problems related to standardising and documentary editing.

IIrargi has always been committed to developing the field in terms of technology and supports all initiatives in this respect. It has turned its original micro-film service into a Public Archive Digitalising Service, dedicated to creating the Basque Country Digital Archive.

Conscious that the ultimate objective of an Archive Service, which is immediately perceived by the user, is cultural diffusion, Irargi has set up an original and ambitious programme, called Badator. The classic challenge for every professional is to offer fast and easy documentation consultation and in this respect, via this site, they are going to be able to consult inventories for all the Basque Country Archive Stores, as well as others which contain documentation on the Basque Country.

The activity run by Irargi for the last 15 years has been given a definitive boost in this Legislation (2005-2009). After several years of prior studies the Basque Country National Historical Archive building has materialised, with Irargi as its embryo. Located in the centre of Bilbao, the AHNE will be the backbone of the National Archive System and a reference point for preserving the Basque Country’s documentary memory, with special dedication to managing digital memory.


Oroimena is an initiative promoted by the Basque Government Department of Culture in order to compile and recover all types of documentation (correspondence, photographs, interviews, films, etc.) from the Civil War years, the exile and post-war years. To do this, citizens who have kept this documentation will be called on, offering them the possibility of preserving it in the future Basque Country National Historical Archive.


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The Auxiliary Navy of the Basque Country (1936-39)

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