Literature is the pure expression of language, which is why Labayru Fundazioa has since its origins taught language hand in hand with literature. We publish and bring to readers today works by classical authors, and promote the appearance of new works by contemporary writers, and compile and promulgate our oral literature.

Labayru Fundazioa has rescued numerous works of Basque literature for today’s reader. Some works were almost inaccessible in any form; others often displayed surprising differences from the standard spellings readers today would not recognize. Being able to read our authors is another step in the bid to learn more about our tradition and show younger generations our past and present.

We have studied and published works in all genres, including prose, verse, traditional songs and stories and of course translations. Some of the works are by well-known authors (Domingo Agirre, Kirikiño, Lauaxeta…), others involve authors whose work had yet to be collected (Mañariko, Sorne Unzueta…), and other works had long been out of print and were almost impossible to get hold of.

These are our theme-based publications: the Sutondoan collection brings together works by classical authors from the 20th century; Arragoa is a compilation of facsimile editions of classical works; Jarein provides critical editions of works by authors from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries; Laratz is a collection of oral literature repertoire; Galburua and Urbegi address new works; and Idatz & Mintz Literatur Atalen Sorta along with Litterae Vasconicae Euskeraren Iker Atalak are literary journals published since the early 1980s.

Euskal Biblioteka

More information: Euskal Biblioteka online

Since the creation of Labayru Fundazioa, the Euskal Biblioteka project has been a major undertaking because of its role and importance in research work. It houses all kinds of publications on Basque culture, whatever the language they were originally written in, including literature, linguistics, law, history, geography, music…

Although originally set up as a library, Euskal Biblioteka is today an integral media centre with material in all kinds of supports. It boasts a collection of 62 706 books, some of which are absolutely unique, and has one of the best newspaper and journal archives in the area; it also owns an abundant collection of 13 140 brochures, nearly 90 000 posters, maps, and other material; the photograph archive is huge, combining vintage and present-day photographs; and it holds a vast number of audiovisual files, comprising recordings associated with local popular heritage, literature, and miscellaneous events, among them, 1797 cultural heritage videos, 508 audios from the oral archive, and 1636 DVDs from Batarrita Archive.

Most of the collection is catalogued and available online.

The library regularly exchanges material with other libraries to complete collections, loans and general information.

The Basque Government acknowledges our library as a centre of bibliographical wealth.

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More information: Dictionaries online

Lexicography has long been a major activity at Labayru Fundazioa. We study words and phraseological units taking into account their semantic, syntactic and paradigmatic relationships within the lexicon.

Labayru Hiztegia is a totally rooted project in Labayru Fundazioa. This bilingual Basque-Spanish, Spanish-Basque dictionary is normative with regard to Bizkaia Basque. It comprises an enormous western dialect lexicon and its Unified Basque correspondences. Our lexicography department team has compiled and exhaustively analysed the oral register of the language together with the repertoire of classical sources from written texts. The dictionary offers a rich, practical corpus to anyone requiring access to natural, expressive Basque.

The phraseological dictionary Labayru Hiztegi Fraseologikoa is another ongoing project. Phrases are fixed expressions that take on a meaning more specific than or otherwise not predictable from the sum of the meanings of its component parts when used independently. They are also expressive linguistic resources often used in the common language. The correspondences between languages tend to differ, as each language opts for a representative image of the idea to be expressed.

Our team of lexicographers makes detailed studies of every word or phrase, and each entry includes variants, different meanings, linguistic contexts, examples, stylistic and grammatical observations, synonyms, and so on.

Guidelines for writing in Bizkaia Basque

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The oral register of our language, including vocabulary and idiomatic expressions, is not always recorded in dictionaries and grammar books. To address this imbalance, we have attempted to bridge the gaps between oral and written language by introducing stylistic standards and norms that enable us to transfer linguistic structures from one register to the other. The grammar work Bizkai euskeraren jarraibide liburua and our dictionaries Labayru Hiztegia and Labayru Hiztegi Fraseologikoa are results of this effort.

All that, as well as a corpus of linguistic and biographical texts and videos with direct sound registers, can be found at

Basque is a unique language with numerous variants depending on the area. These variants enhance the language; however, when it comes to registering them in writing doubts inevitably arise.

Ever since it launched its alphabetization work, Labayru Fundazioa has made major efforts to study and formalize a common way in Bizkaia Basque, taking account of both oral tradition and written works. Grammatical considerations are collected in the two-volume publication Bizkai euskeraren jarraibide liburua. The work covers declinations, verbal conjugations and syntactical structures. For lexicon and superior linguistic units and expressions, Labayru Hiztegia and Labayru Hiztegi Fraseologikoa are the works of reference.

The unification of Basque requires the union and summation of all local variants, which explains why it is so important to collect and analyse them.