Robert Laxalt Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: BAQ030

Scope and Contents

BSQAP 0080 1954-1990

-Accounts of Dominique Laxalt.

-Documentation about the organization of the Basque Festival of 1959.

-Correspondence about creating the Basque Studies Library in Reno with Robert Laxalt, The Library of Congress, Nicolás Jiménez de Aberasturi, Jon Mirande and Philippe Veyrin.

-Bertsos done by Pujana.

-Invitation for a Basque dinner.

-Speech done during Eloy Placer’s funeral.

-Photocopy of a notebook written by Theresa Laxalt when she arrived in US, with lyrics from old Basque and French songs.

-Cardboards used to count sheep.

-Photocopies of documentation mentioning Basque issues.

BSQAP 0081 1998-2002

-Dossier about Robert Laxalt biography and works.

-Spanish Translations of some works of Robert Laxalt.

BSQAP 0082 2001-2002

Dossier about Robert Laxalt’s death, life and works.


  • 1954-2002


Biographical / Historical

Robert Laxalt Alpetche was born in Alturas, California, in 1923. He was one of the six children born to the Basque emigrants Dominique Laxalt and Thérèse Alpetche. He attended Santa Clara University in 1940 but left his studies to join the military. In 1947, he graduated at the University of Nevada, Reno, and worked as a journalist.

In 1951, he traveled to the Basque Country with his dad, Dominique Laxalt. After this trip, Robert Laxalt wrote Sweet Promised Land (1957) that tells the story of his dad as a Basque migrant in America and his feelings after returning home.

He served as a consultant to the Library of Congress on Basque culture. He founded and directed the University of Nevada Press in 1961. In 1966, he helped William A. Douglass and Jon Bilbao found the Basque Studies Program at the University of Nevada, Reno.

In 1988, Laxalt became the first Distinguished Nevada Chair at the University of Nevada, Reno, and he was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. He was nominated twice for the Pulitzer award. He died in Reno in 2001.

Some other of his books are A Man in the Wheatfield (1964), Nevada: A Bicentennial History (1977), A Cup of Tea in Pamplona (1985), and A Basque Hotel (1989).

Source: AUÑAMENDI. Robert Laxalt Alpetche. [Online]


1.5 Cubic Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



Dominique Laxalt’s accounts, documentation, an invitation and correspondence regarding Basque issues, bertsos, cardboards and a speech for Eloy Placer’s funeral. It also includes two dossiers about Robert Laxalt’s biography and works and Spanish translations of some of his works.

Related Materials

The Special Collections department holds the bulk of Robert Laxalt's Papers:

Robert Laxalt papers, 85-09. Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Reno.

A guide to the papers of Robert Laxalt.
In Progress
Irati Urkitza Ansoleaga
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Jon Bilbao Basque Library Repository

1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)