UCL Logo

UCL SSEES Library Archives

Archive Collection description: MAT


Matthews Collection (1911-1958, mostly 1930-1958)

William Kleesmann Matthews (1901-1958) was born in Narva, Estonia of an Estonian mother and an English father. The family came to live in Blackpool, Britain in 1914. After graduating from Manchester University, he gained a Ph.D from SSEES in 1926. His interests at that time were in Slavonic literature rather than linguistics. However since there were few suitable career opportunities for him in Britain at that time, Matthews went to live in Latvia where he worked as a lecturer in English at the State Institute of English, Riga and later at Latvia University. During this time he wrote several books, numerous articles on linguistic and literary subjects and also translated Latvian poetry.

After the incorporation of Latvia into the Soviet Union in 1940, Matthews was evacuated as a British citizen via Moscow to Australia. He spent the rest of the Second World War in Brisbane serving as a military censor, interpreter and German teacher to the Australian and U.S. Armed Forces. During this time he also studied Australasian languages. He returned to Britain in June 1945 and was employed once more by SSEES. From 1946-1948 he was lecturer in Russian and in 1948 became Professor in Russian Literature and Language. In 1950 he was appointed head of the Department of Language and Literature and also editor of "The Slavonic and East European Review". In addition to publishing several books on linguistics, Matthews wrote many articles on linguistics and literature and translations of Latvian, Estonian and Slovenian poetry.
Ref: "Slavonic and East European Review" vol 37, no 88, 1958, pp 1-16


5 boxes and 2 outsize items

(Language) Bulgarian & Czech & English & Estonian & Finnish & French & German & Greek & Hungarian & Italian & Latin & Latvian & Marathi & Polish & Russian & Serbo-Croat & Slovene & Spanish & Ukrainian

Unrestricted access

Publications: related to this collection are Matthews, W K "An Anthology of Modern Estonian poetry" (Gainsville, 1953), "The structure and development of Russian" (Cambridge, 1953) and "Russian Historical Grammar" (London, 1960)

A record for this collection is also available on the UCL Archives web site. To see it, please type MAT into the search field.

Back to UCL SSEES Archive Collection Guide Home Page

Top of the pageTop of page

This page last modified Friday 30 April 2010.


University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT - Telephone: +44 (0)20 7679 2000 - Copyright © 1999-2016 UCL

Search by Google