The History Institute (until 1970 - the Institute of History and Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic) was established in 1943, on the basis of the Institute of Language, Literature and History of the Uzbek branch affiliated with the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.
The Institute’s activity commenced under the direction of Z.Sh.Radjabov (1943-1945) and continued under the direction of V.A.Shishkin (1945-1947), V.Ya. Nepomnin (1947-1949), R.N.Nabiev (1949-1952), Kh.T.Tursunov (1952-1955), I.M.Muminov (1955-1956), Ya.G.Guljamov (1956-1959), A.Kh.Babakhodjaev (1959-1964), M.A.Akhunova (1965-1986), R.E.Radjapova (1986-1991), A.A.Askarov (1991-1996), A.R.Muchamedjanov (1996-1998), M.M.Iskhakov (1998-2000) D.A.Alimova (2000-2010) and R.M. Abdullaev (2010-present time).
When first established, the Institute staff numbered 44 employees with two Doctors Habil. and five Ph. D.s in History; now the Institute has 94 employees, including two Academicians of The Uzbek Academy of Sciences, 19 Doctors Habil. and 22 Ph. D.s in history.
The Institute has made significant contributions to the study of the past: its monuments; Uzbekistan’s history from ancient times to the present; and the ethnogenesis, culture and life of the peoples of Uzbekistan. Noteworthy among the Institute’s activities is the arrangement of various academic conferences, discussions, symposia and "roundtable" meetings attended by historians representing the leading scientific centres of Russia and the post-Soviet Central Asian countries. These discussion proceedings have been published in the series, "Topical Problems of Historical Science," issued by the Institute.
With the gaining of independence in Uzbekistan in 1991, radical changes came to the Institute’s research activity. During the Soviet period attitudes towards the historical sciences were heavily influenced by political and ideological factors and often aimed at the propagation of the Soviet system’s achievements and its communist ideology. Since 1991, those aspects of history which during the Soviet period were either ignored or falsely treated, have become the focus of scholarly attention in the Institute. The Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan on June 27, 1998 "On Improving the Activity of the History Institute of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences" was of great importance for the Institute’s further development. The state Government provided all necessary conditions and rendered financial and technical support for the development of historical science in the Republic. "There is no future without historical memories of the past"; that was the designation for the role of historical science in the Republic’s social evolution, as stated by the President of Uzbekistan.
Consistent with the goals of this Resolution, the Institute has been reorganized. The following Departments were set up:
- Department of Ancient History and Material Culture of Uzbekistan.
- Department of Uzbek Medieval History.
- Department of the Uzbekistan’s History in the 19th – 20th Centuries (until 1991).
- Department of Historiography and Source Studies.
- Department of Ethnology.
- Department of the Contemporary History of Uzbekistan and International Relations.
New publications have been approved: a dedicated historical journal Uzbekiston tarikhi (The History of Uzbekistan), periodic collections of academic works, scientific and popular brochures (New Pages in the History of Uzbekistan). The Institute is recognized in the republic as a coordinating center of research and the main center for the training of scientific personnel. The Institute’s top priorities in research are as follows:
- history of the Uzbek people and statehood;
- ethnography and ethnogenesis of the Uzbek people and other peoples and ethnic groups that have inhabited Uzbekistan;
- culture, life and spiritual heritage of the Uzbek people;
- social and political life of the Uzbeks at different stages of historical evolution, during periods of efflorescence and decline and the reasons for each, and specific features of the historical development of the Uzbeks;
- material culture and ethnography of the Uzbeks.
The modern methodology employed to study the history of Uzbekistan is based upon such basic principles as the historical method, objectivity, truth, moral uprightness, and the national and human interest. To reconstruct the historical past many previously unknown or "locked" (i.e., unavailable to historians) primary sources have been enlisted. Considerable attention is paid to the study of native and foreign historiographies of the Uzbek people and Uzbekistan’s statehood, from antiquity to the present.
In addition, the Institute maintains and expands scientific ties with many leading research centers on Central Asian studies in the USA, Europe, Asia and the CIS. In 1999, the Institute hosted an International Conference on "Central Asia at the Turn of the 20th Century: Struggle for Reforms, Progress and Sovereignty,” attended by participants from 15 states. In 2000, another Conference was organized on "Topical Problems in the Ethnology of Central Asian Peoples". In 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 five international conferences were organized together with Institute of Asian Culture and Development (South Korea); in 2004 – international conference together with SEPHIS (Holland), in 2006 – two conferences together with University of Washington and University of Georgia (USA), in 2007 in – international conference together with Tashkent Islamic University, French Institute of Central Asian Studies and International Institute of Central Asian Studies (UNESCO) and office of UNESCO in Uzbekistan, in 2008 – international conference together with French Institute of Central Asian Studies and International Institute of Central Asian Studies (UNESCO).
During recent years the Institute has published many works on Uzbekistan’s ancient, medieval and colonial periods. Among the issues that have been reevaluated from a new point of view are Jadidism; opposition and rebel movements in Uzbekistan; Soviet state repression in Uzbekistan; the socio-economic and political history of Uzbekistan; and the spiritual establishments of the Uzbeks. The first steps have been taken towards writing the contemporary history of present-day independent Uzbekistan. During last few years the Institute and its researches have published more than 60 books and few hundreds articles, including more than 200 articles abroad.
The Institute together with seven universities has established unified Department of History of Uzbekistan where M.A. studies are trained.
Annually the Institute admits individuals to programs leading to the degrees of Ph. D. and Doctor of Sciences, with practical training in the following fields of specialization:
- National (Uzbekistan) History;
- Historiography, Source Study and Historical Methods;