Center for Basque Studies celebrates 40th anniversary with oral history

12/5/2007 8:00:00 AM

As the University Center for Basque Studies celebrates its 40th anniversary, the University's Oral History Program announces the release of "A Candle in the Night," an informal history of the Center as remembered by many of those who were instrumental in founding and developing the program over four decades. Several chroniclers will sign copies of the book, at the ASUN Bookstore in the new Joe Crowley Student Union, Dec. 6, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

"While the Center for Basque Studies has achieved great things, the road to its success was not uniformly smooth," said Tom King, director of the Oral History Program. "This book gives the reader the kind of multi-faceted understanding of issues and personalities that is often missing from official institutional histories."  

In 1967, Basque sheepherders were recognized as the foremost sheep tenders in the American West, and a small Basque studies program – established in the social sciences division of the Desert Research Institute – initiated research on the group as a key human element in the Great Basin ecosystem.

"At that time, no one imagined that such a modest, narrowly-focused undertaking could grow to become the contemporary Center for Basque Studies that we know today," said Eric Herzik, interim director and professor of political science. "The Center is the leading research and educational institute of its kind outside the European Basque homeland."

Candle offers valuable information about the Center's offspring including the:

University Basque Studies Library, the primary repository of Basque information for the English-speaking world and which houses a collection of 50,000 volumes and 1,500 journal titles;

University of Nevada Press Basque Book Series, one of the most successful ethnic series published by an academic press in the United States; and,

University Studies Abroad Consortium, one the country's largest study-abroad programs with a presence in 25 countries.

Approximately 40 scholars from the Basque country travel to the University each year to perform research and to use the library, which is reputed to have a more extensive collection than any library in the Basque country.

The Center for Basque Studies has celebrated its 40th anniversary with activities and events during 2007. The book signing will include University and Center for Basque Studies faculty and staff including Kate Camino, administrative assistant; Sandra Ott, associate professor; Carmelo Urza, director of the University Studies Abroad Consortium, and Linda White, emeritus Basque scholar.

The Nevada Legislature commemorated the milestone anniversary, May 7, with Assembly Concurrent Resolution 28, introduced by Assemblyman David Bobzien-D, Reno. The measure passed unanimously.

Please contact (775) 784-6932 or visit their website for more information about the University of Nevada Oral History Program or the book signing event.


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