It was such a pleasure to launch the Basques in the United States: A Biographical Encyclopedia of First-Generation Basque Immigrants, our 2-volume work listing nearly 10,000 first-generation immigrants from the Basque Country to the United States. It was so much fun to present this work to the public and to see the great reactions, especially from families who recognized someone on the cover. This type of historical research on the diaspora is so interesting and will have a lot to tell those everything from immigration patterns to the individual story of that person in the reader’s family who first made the trek across the Atlantic to our shores. I want to congratulate and thank everyone who worked on this for their tremendous time and effort, especially Koldo San Sebastian, without whom it never would have taken off, Argitxu Camus-Etxekopar who provided valuable assistance and how is generously volunteering her time to help us better this, and the translator, Joxe Mallea-Olaetxe.
And I want to take this time to honor those Basques, among whom I count my grandmother and grandfather, who ventured over the sea and who worked tirelessly to make a better life for themselves and for their families. It is their stories that we seek to tell here and it gives me goosebumps everytime I consider the work that we (and many others, in many different ways) are doing to preserve their memory.
But we need your help! We’ve set up a website basquesintheus.blogs.unr.edu to help collect even more information. So please help us make this the most complete biographical collection it can be!
Readers interested in a fictional account of one woman’s immigration experience (and much more) should pick up Zelestina Urza in Outer Space, by David Romtvedt . My Mama Marie is the recollection of a daughter about her mother’s experience (and her own). For more academic studies of immigration patterns, we’d like to highlight among our extensive list the contributions by Pedro Oiarzabal, Gardeners of Identity: The Basques of the San Francisco Bay Region, and The Basque Diaspora Webscape.
And finally, thanks to everyone who stopped by at Jaialdi and took an interest in this project, it’s for you in the end!