Frank Bergon Literary and Pictorial Collection

Identifier: BAQ094

Scope and Contents

The collection includes materials (notes, drafts, correspondence) related to each of the main works by Frank Bergon, both academic and fictional writings; essays and reviews; correspondence, both professional and personal; materials related to Basque topics and family life, including an extensive collection of photographs.


  • 1934


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the materials in the Collection except for certain items that may be hurtful to living people and some personal items such as letters between the donor and his wife, which will be marked to be kept unopened until after the deaths of the donor, his wife, and / or others involved.

Biographical / Historical

Frank Bergon, a grandson of Basque immigrants, was born in Ely, Nevada, and grew up on a ranch in Madera County in California’s San Joaquin Valley. After attending elementary school at St. Joachim’s in Madera and high school at Bellarmine in San Jose, he received a B.A. in English at Boston College, attended Stanford University as a Wallace Stegner Fellow, and completed a Ph.D. in English and American Literature at Harvard University.

He has published eleven books—four novels, a critical study, a book of essays, and five edited collections and anthologies. A major concern of his work is with the lives of Basque Americans in the West. His writing about Native Americans ranges from the Shoshone of Nevada to the Maya of Chiapas, Mexico. He writes about natural history and the environment in both fiction and essays. With his wife, Holly St. John Bergon, he has published translations of the Spanish poets Antonio Gamoneda, José Ovejero, Xavier Queipo, and Violeta Rangel.

He has taught at the University of Washington and for many years at Vassar College, where he is Professor Emeritus of English. He is a member of the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.

Bergon is going of the prominent voices of the Western literary landscape. From an almost neorealistic perspective, his novels recreate the conflicts between the American dream ideal and new Western values during the 20th century. Moreover, his work expands the traditional Western imagery, stressing the mark left by the Basque diaspora in this territory.


53 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



The proposed organization of the collection preserves, for the most part, the order we found at the transfer. It could change with the next arrival of materials.

* One series for each of Frank Bergon's main works * Shoshone Mike * The Temptations of St. Ed and Brother S * Looking Far West: The Search for the American West in History Myth and Literature * The Wilderness Reader * Wild Game * Stephen Crane’s Artistry * The Western Writings of Stephen Crane * Jesse’s Ghost * The Journals of Lewis and Clark * A Sharp Lookout: Selected Essays of John Burroughs * Essays and Reviews * Readings, Talks, Activism * Correspondence With Writers * Basque topics * Personal and family life * Pictures * Family Correspondence


Special materials (recordings and photographs), could be separated from the main physical collection, but maintaining their original provenance and order. Additionally, digital materials will be processed according to their particular needs, but, again, keeping the unity of the whole collection.

A guide to the Frank Bergon Literary and Pictorial Collection
In Progress
Iñaki Arrieta Baro
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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)