Ada Booth Slavic Collection

Collection image

The Ada Booth Slavic Collection was established in 2011 as a result of the Library receiving a large benefaction from the will of the late Ada Phyllis Booth (1921-2008), physicist and lecturer at the University of Melbourne.

The collection's ongoing development, including the purchase of electronic and other resources relating to Slavic studies, is funded through the benefaction.

The Library also received the large collection of Slavic language books which Ms Booth had collected over her life. These items, together with the Library's Slavic language materials built up over many years, and all new purchases of such material, now go to this collection.

Collection overview

Reflecting research which has been undertaken at Monash University, the main subject areas covered by the collection are Russian, Ukrainian and other literatures, Slavic linguistics as well as Translation Studies topics in Slavic languages. Other strengths of the collection include histories of Russia and Eastern Europe, politics and art. There are also many reference texts such as dictionaries and encyclopedias. Monash University Library has the best collection of materials in Australia pertaining to Ukrainian Studies.

The books and journals in the collection are mainly in Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Serbian and Croatian. There are also titles in other Slavic languages.

While materials in Slavic languages are held at the Matheson Library, materials relating to Slavic studies in English and other languages are held elsewhere in the Library, including in the Rare Books Collection and at Caulfield Library.

The Ada Booth benefaction has also enabled the Library to purchase several electronic databases pertaining to Russian and Ukrainian Studies.

For further collection information consult the Ada Booth Collection guide.

Ada Booth Research Fellowships

The Ada Booth Research Fellowship program was established in 2018 with the aim of promoting the use of the Library's Slavic collection and supporting and strengthening the Slavic Studies community in Australia.  Initially, the Library will be hosting four fellows, of whom three will visit Melbourne from overseas in the second half of 2018:

  • Dr Geoffrey Brown is researching the anti-communist activism of the Czechoslovak community in Australia from 1950 to 1990 through the Czech-language press in Australia, particularly the newspaper Hlas domova (Voice of the Homeland) published in Melbourne between 1950 and 1979, and the succeeding periodical Hlasy (Voices), published until 1990.   Dr Brown is presenting a lecture on Czechoslovak Anti-Communist Publications in Australia, 1950-1989 on  Thursday 1 November, at the Monash Conference Centre, 30 Collins Street Melbourne, at 6pm. Find out more.
  • Dr Marta Havryshko will be researching women’s experiences of the Ukrainian nationalist underground in the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (Orhanizatsiia Ukrains’kykh Natsionalistiv, OUN) and Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Ukrains’ka Povstans’ka armiia, UPA) from the beginning of the Second World War and until the termination of nationalist resistance in the middle of 1950s. Dr Havryshko is presenting a lecture on Women’s experiences of the Ukrainian nationalist underground in the OUN and the UPA  on Monday 26 November, at the Monash Conference Centre, 30 Collins Street Melbourne, at 6pm.  Find out more
  • Dr Simone Bellezza will research human rights activism in Ukrainian Australian university students and institutions in the 1970s to the 1990s. Dr Bellezza is presenting a lecture on The Fight Against the “Soviet Russian Empire:” Australian Ukrainians between Scientific Research and Political Activism on  Wednesday 28 November, at the Monash Conference Centre, 30 Collins Street Melbourne, at 6pm. Find out more
  • Recordings of these lectures will be made available at a later date.


The Ada Booth Slavic Collection is located at the Matheson Library, Clayton, within the Special collections area of Level 1. Use Search to discover materials in the collection. Most items are available for loan, but some rare or fragile items are on closed access and can only be used in the Special Collections Reading Room. Find out how to access them in the Rare Books Library guide.