The Sancho el Sabio Institution was launched by what was then called the “Caja de Ahorros Municipal de la Ciudad de Vitoria”.
The Sancho el Sabio Institution Study and Research Centre was born from the need to channel a series of cultural interests in the province of Alava. Among the numerous initiatives backed by this Centre was the creation of a Basque Library.
This year the Sancho el Sabio Institution was legally established as the Sancho el Sabio Foundation.
A merger between the “Caja de Ahorros de Vitoria” and the “Caja de Ahorros Provincial de Alava” saw the birth of the “Caja de Vitoria y Alava (Caja Vital Kutxa)”, and the transfer of the Foundation into the hands of this new entity.
The Sancho el Sabio Foundation moved to its headquarters at Zulueta House, thus materializing the initiative launched in 1989.
The Foundation’s present headquarters, with new goals for spreading the Basque culture via new technologies.
The library has had the same objectives since its birth: to collect, organise, preserve and disseminate documentation related to the Basque culture. Having collected material over so many years means that the library now has one of the largest and wealthiest existing Basque documentary holdings, including 15th Century manuscripts, 16th Century cartographic material, 18th Century graphic material and other material in new technology formats.
Similarly since its origin, the library has collected material from the provinces currently forming the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (Euskadi), the Autonomous Community of Navarre and the French part of the Basque Country (Pyrénées Atlantiques Department), an area extended for historical reasons to include the confines of the River Ebro to the South and the River Garonne to the North.