Eloy Placer Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: BAQ022

Scope and Contents

BSQAP 0042 - BSQAP 0043 1960-1970

Correspondence and works of Eloy Placer.

BSQAP 0044 1950-1980

Correspondence and works of Eloy Placer.

BSQAP 0045 1950-1960

-Correspondence of Eloy Placer

-Notes for classes taught by Eloy Placer at the University of Nevada, Reno.

BSQAP 0046 1970

Cards of a Basque-English dictionary of Eloy Placer.

BSQAP 0047 1951-1963

School register bulletins about classes taught by Eloy Placer in several Universities and schools.

BSQAP 0048 1956-1961

Correspondence of Eloy Placer with Andoni Urrestarazu, Umandi.


  • 1950-1980


The main language of the papers is English, there are also documents in Spanish and few in Basque.


Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site.

Biographical / Historical

Eloy L. Placer Martínez de Lecea was born in Ozaeta (Araba/Álava) in 1914. He was one of the fifteen children of Gerardo Placer and Feliciana Martínez de Lezea. His father was a doctor born in Zaragoza, where he met Sabino Arana Goiri, founder of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV). His older brother, José Placer (1896-1937), was one of the chief commander of the artillery of the Basque Government . He was also a leader of the political party Basque Nationalist Action (ANV); after the bombing of Gernika, he was taken prisoner and executed.

Eloy L. Placer started his studies in Philosophy and Linguistics in Valladolid. In 1936, he stopped studying at the start of the Spanish Civil War and joined the Gudaroste or Basque army. He was taken prisoner and released after the Gernika bombing. In 1938, he was imprisoned again and condemned to death. Before being released in 1940, Placer learned the Basque language from another prisoner from Gipuzkoa. After leaving prison, he relocated to Valencia, where he ended his university studies and married Amparo Perogordo. In 1949, they decided to run away from the dictatorship and start a new life in Texas, where Placer worked as a Spanish language teacher.

After arriving in the United States, he worked at Saint Mary's University. Later on, he worked at Alamo High School and several Air Force bases. He received his Ph.D. in 1958 from Louisiana State University. He worked as a professor at several universities, including the Sacred Heart University Center in Grand Cotreay, Louisiana, the University of Syracuse in New York, the University of Kentucky and Southwestern University of Louisiana, until 1969, when he joined the staff at the University of Nevada, Reno. In Nevada, he taught Spanish literature in the Department of Foreign Languages. He collaborated in the Basque Studies Program, where he participated in the summer courses in Basque literature with some other well-known researchers and writers like Koldo Mitxelena, William A. Douglass, Robert Laxalt and Jon Bilbao.

During his time in exile, he carried on correspondence with other exiled Basque nationalists such as Galíndez y Landáburu, the brothers Andrés and Pello Irujo and Andoni Urrestarazu. He died in Reno in 1974.


DE LA GRANJA, José Luis. “Los fondos documentales vascos de la Universidad de Nevada Reno: el archivo de Ramon Goñi”. In: JIMÉNEZ DE ABERASTURI, Juan Carlos (Coord.). El programa de Estudios Vascos de la Universidad de Nevada, Reno: su biblioteca, su hemeroteca y sus fuentes documentales. Donostia-San Sebastián: Eusko Ikaskuntza, 1987, pp. 222-252.

HAMAIKABIDE ELKARTEA. Eloy Placer Martínez de Lecea [Online] http://www.hamaikabide.eus/biografias/name/eloy-placer-martnez/


3 Cubic Feet (7 boxes)


Eloy Placer's correspondence, works, notes for classes taught by Placer, bulletins and cards for a Basque-English dictionary.

Related Archival Materials

Speech in Basque given in Eloy Placer's funeral. Eugéne Azpeitia papers, BAQ003, BSQAP0097, folder A-15. Jon Bilbao Basque Library, University Library, University of Nevada, Reno.

A guide to the papers of Eloy Placer.
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)