The Minister of Culture and Linguistic Policy and Spokesperson of the Basque Government, Bingen Zupiria, and the General Secretariat for External Affairs, Marian Elorza, visited the Basque Diaspora Archive today, at the Historic Archive of the Basque Country. During their tour, they were accompanied by Gorka Álvarez, Officer of basque Community Abroad, Mikel Aizpuru, Officer of Cultural Heritage, Borja Aguinagalde, Manager of the Historic Archive of the Basque Country, and Mikel Gómez, responsible for cataloguing the Diaspora Archive and guide, providing appropriate explanations.
In November 2018, President of the Basque Government Iñigo Urkullu, coinciding with the Basque National Week in Argentina, announced in the Argentinean city of Mar del Plata that they would be creating a Basque Diaspora Archive, a historic collection located in the Historic Archive of the Basque Country, whose aim shall be to collect documentation on the memory and activities of Basque collectives throughout history. One year later, under the VII World Conference for Basque Collectives, held in Bilbao from 2-4 October 2019, the Basque Diaspora Archive was officially introduced.
To date, approximately 7,000 documents, 955 bibliographical items, and 230 objects of different chronology and origin. Moreover, thanks to different contributions and donations from Basque individuals and institutions around the world, the archive's collection continues to grow.
During today's tour, Bingen Zupiria and Marian Elorza were granted an in-depth knowledge of how work on setting up this important Collection is going, to discover the progress, contribution and configuration of different Basque collectives spread throughout the world. These collections show the everyday lives of Basque collectives abroad, mainly in the Americas, regarding their organisation, festivities, collaboration with anti-Francoism, presence in their host societies and contact with Basque institutions since the mid-20th century.
The Minister of Culture and Linguistic Policy, Bingen Zupiria, highlighted "the importance of this Archive to delve in depth into the history of our country with the perspective and experiences of Basque women and men abroad. Thanks to these collections, we can offer society in general, and researchers in particular, a place where this entire legacy is collected and preserved."
Moreover, the General Secretariat for External Affairs, Marian Elorza, highlighted that "this is a project that is taking its first steps, and we are very grateful for the important donations received to date. There is still much to do and the global Basque community continues to interact around the world, but the project is taking shape and opening up new possibilities for society."