Established in 1864 with a view to raising the level of education and knowledge, Slovenska matica is the oldest cultural and scientific association in Slovenia. The first publication of Slovenska matica was a calendar issued in 1864; however, soon after, the organisation began to turn out important works of world literature, including the first translations into Slovenian language of Shakespeare and a range of Slovenian modernist literature including texts by Ivan Cankar in 1901.
In its long history, Slovenska matica has published over 650 titles. Its programme has a long tradition in publishing translations of major texts of philosophy (Socrates, Schelling, Nietzsche, Bergson, etc.) in its Philosophy Booklet collection. It has also covered areas such as history, art history and literary history, including works by Slovene art historians, such as Izidor Cankar, Nace Šumi and Marjan Zadnikar, and architects, such as, Edvard Ravnikar. More than 300 expert scientists and philosophers contribute to and shape their programme.
Their books are available for purchase in all Slovene bookstores or by contacting Slovenska matica directly.
Besides its publishing programme, Slovenska matica organises panel discussions, symposia, round tables and literary events on an array of topics and issues from the area of humanities (including the role of humanities in elementary and secondary education, the economy of culture and the culture of economy, the philosophy and literature in contemporary Slovene history, etc.). In 2012, Slovenska matica had an exhibition of publications with a panel discussion at Matica hrvatska, its Croatian equivalent in Zagreb, Croatia.
In 2017, the Slovenian parliament passed the law granting special cultural and scientific status to Slovenska matica.