U of I gifts Basque Collection to Boise State
A collection of materials relating to Basque culture and history will have a permanent home in southern Idaho. The University of Idaho has given the more than 3,400 volumes, housed for a number of years at the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, to Boise State University’s Albertsons Library for its permanent collection. It will join the Cenarrusa papers that are already part of the collection that was started by Boise State less than a decade ago.
“Part of our stewardship in building collections for the University of Idaho library is recognizing the regional impact of certain parts of our holdings,” said Lynn Baird, dean of University of Idaho Library. “We are pleased that Boise State University has welcomed these materials and that the collection will remain accessible to members of the Basque Cultural Center and others seeking to learn more about Idaho's Basque heritage.”
The University of Idaho began collecting Basque-related materials in 1964 under the leadership of alumnus Boyd Martin and then-head librarian Lee Zimmerman. By the 1970s, the university added a course in Basque culture. When the Basque Center was established in Boise in 1986, conversations began to pave the way for the university’s collection to be on long-term loan. While the collection has been housed at the Basque Center since 1995, the center no longer can house the materials.
“This is a welcome addition to our ever-expanding collection of Basque-related books and papers in the Albertsons Library,” said Marilyn Moody, dean of university libraries at Boise State. “The Basque library collection at Boise State University is a great resource for not only our Basque Studies Program, but for the entire Idaho Basque community. It’s our hope that this unified Basque collection will make it easier for any citizen in Idaho with an interest in Basque history and culture to find and use the books and information they need.”
The University of Idaho materials join the Pete Cenarrusa Basque Collection at Boise State. As one of the Albertsons Library Special Collections, it consists of correspondence, writings, subject files, photographs and artifacts, focusing on Basque politics and culture throughout the world from 1938-2006. Idaho is home to the largest concentration of Basque descendants in North America and has the only Basque museum and language school in the U.S.
When the collection was placed on long-term loan with the Basque Center in 1995, the University of Idaho valued it at under $100,000; its current value has not yet been determined.
Contact: Marilyn K. Moody (MarilynMoody@boisestate.edu)