The Centre was founded In 1945 under the name Historical Archive of Modern Hellenism and began to function in 1957. It was renamed Research Centre for the Study of Modern Greek History in 1966. In 1974 the Archive of Modern Greek Writers was annexed to it.
The object of the Research Centre is to collect, study and publish sources related to the history of the metropolitan, peripheral and emigrant hellenic world since the 19th century. To support this object the Centre has acquired a collection of original documents and of microfilms and a specialised library, and it conducts research projects and publications.
The archival material of the Centre includes among other material collections of papers of D. Solomos, N. Manzaros, Io. Colettis, and the Rangabe family.
In 1962 the Director of the Research Centre E. Prevelakis initiated a programme of microfilming material of specific Greek interest , in order to enable scholars interested in modern Greek studies to obtain access to important but inaccessible material. Since then the Centre has acquired a collection of approximately 12.000 microfilms. The main bulk of the material consists of the correspondence of the British, French, Austro- hungarian and American Foreign Ministries with their Embassies and Consulates in Greece and in the Ottoman Empire.
The Library comprises 12.100 titles.
Many research projects involve processing of evidence. Such projects are the historical bibliography and the presentation of large archival units in the form either of a published catalogue or of an electronic database.