National Monument to the Basque Sheepherder Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: BAQ102

Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence about the selection a sculpter and site for the project, plud funding. There are also plans and pamphlets detailing various design proposals and there are newspaper articles weighing in on the ascethetic quality of the work.


  • Majority of material found within 1980 - 1994


Materials primarily English, some in Spanish and a few in Basque and French

Conditions Governing Access - Restrictions

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

Biographical / Historical

The Basque Sheepherder Monument is located northwest of the University of Reno, Nevada, surrounded by a few trees and sagebrush next to Rancho San Rafael. The 23-feet tall bronze sculpture is the work of the Basque sculptor Nestor Basterretxea, who gave the monument the title “Bakardade,” or “Solitude”. It takes an attention-paying view of the relatively abstract bronze column to see what it depicts: a shepherd carrying a lamb over his shoulder under a full moon. The initiative for the construction of the monument was mainly conducted by José Ramón Zengotitabengoa.

The first generation of Basque immigrants to the United States were mostly shepherds. The bronze map of the United States at the base of the sculpture depicts areas in which Basques settled and their descendants live. Most of the bronze plaques and some of the large bronze letters above them were stolen in 2011, but they were replaced with more durable steel ones later in 2012.


NABO [online]:,the%20present%20to%20the%20future.



0.94 Linear Feet (2 boxes)


Correspondence pamphlets, plans, and other documentation about creating a National Monument to the Basque Sheepherder in Nevada


The collections is arranged per the enclosed inventory list of files.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The materials making up this collections were transferred from Center for Basque Studies Collection of Western Basque Festival Records -- BAQ019.

A Guide to the National Monument to the Basque Sheepherder Collection
In Progress
Chris Brune
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)