The main aim of this project is to catalogue and disseminate the Basque Country’s oral heritage and popular speech; in other words, to interview the Basque Country’s senior citizens, record their Basque and their experiences and spread them among the population. The project was set up in 2003 and over all these years has become a reference in the gathering, cataloguing and dissemination of the oral heritage of the Basque language.
The testimony of over 5,000 people has already been gathered and 35,000 audio and video sequences have been digitised and uploaded to the Internet.
Some of the features of the project are as follows: it gathers data all over the Basque Country; it is a public, cost-free project; it is an open project that has been developed in a shared way, and anyone interested may participate in it; it has various researchers and projects; it follows a systematic, rigorous methodology; all the information is catalogued and labelled and then ordered by town as well as by subject.
A tremendous effort has been made to disseminate and transmit this heritage with the help of schools and also via the Internet (for example, thanks to projects such as Ikasgelan, Gazte Gara Gazte and Gerrako Ahotsak).
In its 4 phases (gathering, cataloguing, editing and disseminating) the work process has been analysed and organised rigorously, and has been endorsed by experience spanning 12 years. For all these reasons, the project Euskal Herriko Ahotsak (Voices of the Basque Country) could be a suitable model for other countries/languages.