Subject librarian

Subject-specific training courses

As part of the undergraduate seminars for students of Slavic and East European Studies, regular library introduction sessions take place (library catalogue, holdings and subject information as well as electronic information and media available). The dates will be announced here in good time.


All training opportunities

An overview of all training opportunities at the University Library – introductory sessions at the start of the semester, training courses, guided tours, reference management, etc. - can be found here


University Library holdings

  • Reference works
  • Academic subject-related literature, textbooks
  • History, society, philosophy, religion, regional studies about East, East Central and South-Eastern Europe and the Balkans (predominately in Western languages)
  • General works and monographs (predominately in Western languages)
  • Complete editions
  • Fiction translated from Slavic, Baltic and Finno-Ugric languages
  • Travel literature
  • Journals and series
  • Licences for electronic media (e-books, e-journals, databases) in the university’s computer network

    Libraries with additional holdings

    Basel theologian Fritz Lieb (1892-1970) was a specialist in the Orthodox Church and Russian intellectual history - a Slavist, orientalist, philosopher, geologist, archaeologist and collector of advant-garde art, a dedicated journalist and politician. He donated his Russian-Slavic library to the University Library Basel at the end of 1951. His wife, Ruth Lieb-Stähelin (1900-1986), continued to expand the library after his death.

    The Lieb Library comprises around 13 000 monographs, periodicals and manuscripts about Slavic, especially Russian, intellectual, church, literary, social, economic and religious history. The oldest prints date back to the 17th century, the most recent titles from the 1980s. All the titles are documented in our search portal swisscovery.

    Included in Fritz Lieb’s bequest are biographical sources about his life and work as well as political, theological and East European contemporary documents. The bequest is electronically indexed in swisscollections.


    Fritz Lieb

    Russian-Swiss Elsa Mahler (born in Moscow in 1882 and died in Riehen, Basel in 1970), was the first female professor at the University of Basel.

    After her studies in St. Petersburg, Berlin and Munich as well as working i.a. in schools in Petrograd and at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Elsa Mahler moved to Basel in 1920 where she laid the foundations of the Department of Slavic Studies and its library. She qualified as a professor in 1928 with her work about Russian laments for the dead and worked for a further ten years as an outside lecturer. In 1938 she became the first woman to be appointed associate professor at the University of Basel.

    In 2011, the University Library Basel presented an exhibition entitled "Elsa Mahler – Die erste Professorin der Universität Basel und ihre slavistisch-volkskundlichen Sammlungen",  curated by the Profile Area Eastern Europe, which had also curated an Elsa Mahler exhibition in 2010 as part of the university’s 550th anniversary.

    The Elsa Mahler bequest is kept in the University Library Basel and is electronically indexed in swisscollections. Amongst other things, it contains correspondence, texts and sheet music, original sound recordings of Russian folk songs, as well as material on Old Russian folk songs and photographs from the Pečory region. The sound recordings from Elisa Mahler’s bequest can be heard in digital format through Memobase.

    Detailed information about the biography and works of Elsa Mahler can be found on the website on the history of the Department of Slavic Studies and on the website of the online project on the history of the University of Basel.


    Elsa Mahler in her study (ca. 1962)

    Elsa Mahler in her study (circa 1962)