At the end of the 20th century the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the bipolar world marked the end of an era, which was one of the darkest and most tumultuous times in history.

Consequently, the opportunity arises for historians to study this period as a whole. Historiography has a new challenge to reconsider events and correlations from new angles and perspectives which defined the previous century. Therefore, there was a great need to create an academic institution which attempts to re-evaluate the history of the 20th century by involving young researchers.

The Institute of the Twentieth Century started operating in May 1999. The general director of the academic workshop is Mária Schmidt (Doctor of History).

The Institute of the Twentieth Century is an organization with the primary aim to conduct historical research of the 20th century. Its main mission is to introduce and research the context and correlations of Hungarian, Central and Eastern European history, politics and society. The Institute intends to encourage research on the regime change and promote the study and exhibition of archives and records of political trials and the in-depth analysis of dictatorships. We intend to conduct our research by contrasting and combining ideologies and we support and fund events which try to reconstruct the history of the age by holding conferences, academic discussions and symposia. Engaging young researchers in academic life is one of our key objectives. The research team consisting of undergraduates and graduate historians present their results every two weeks.

The Institute of the Twentieth Century has issued several publications of scholarly standard in the topics of history and social science.