Basque Library collection policy


  • To be the world’s leading academic library on Basque Diaspora-related information.
  • To develop a collection of Basque resources, as comprehensive as possible about the Diaspora and selectively about the Basque Country.
  • To preserve the documentary heritage — both primary and secondary resources— of the Basque Diaspora in the United States.
  • To serve the Basque Country’s researchers and memory institutions as a portal to research in English about the Basque Country and the Diaspora.


The Jon Bilbao Basque Library is open to scholars and the community alike. At the same time, it aims to maintain an open dialogue with members of the Basque Diaspora and Basque organizations.

The collection


The collection scope has shifted from its earliest undertaking. During the first 15 years, the Library tried to build a comprehensive Basque collection, collecting materials from the Basque Country and the Diaspora. In the 1990s, due to the increased number of publishers and works, the impossibility of gathering all publications about the Basque Country became clear. Today, the Library’s scope focuses on the Basque Diaspora and serves as the research library for the William A. Douglass Center for Basque Studies (CBS).

Material types

The Basque Library is open to collecting all types of materials, both published (monographs, serials, literary works) and unpublished (archival collections, photographs, video recordings), no matter their physical form.

Geographical scope

The Basque Library has two areas of interest:

  • The Basque Country, comprising seven territories: Araba/Álava, Bizkaia (Biscay), Gipuzkoa, Nafarroa (Navarre), Lapurdi (Labourd), Nafarroa Beherea, and Zuberoa (Soule); the first four territories are today located in the Kingdom of Spain, the former three ones in the French Republic.
  • The Basque Diaspora, comprising the Basque people around the world. Here, the primary foci are the United States and Canada; secondarily, the rest of the Americas; and finally, the rest of the world.


English language materials constitute the primary focus of the collection. On a second level, the Library is also interested in materials in Basque, Spanish, and French. Exceptionally, materials in other languages could be added to the collection, depending upon the relevance of these materials to the library.

Collecting levels

For the purpose of this policy, designations for collecting levels are applied to geographical scope, topics, and formats. These designations inform current acquisition and processing priorities.

  • Comprehensive: seek and acquire through donations or purchase any item within the scope.
  • Selective: enhance a collection, add donations or acquire items through purchase with consideration to condition and quality.
  • Maintain: preserve collection at the current status and conserve at-risk items. In some specific cases, expand a collection through selected donations. Do not purchase additional items.
  • Exclude: do not purchase or add donations; do not process unwanted items.

Updated: October 3, 2016
Reviewed: April 21, 2022