The Cold War History Research Center (Center) was established in December 1998, following a pioneering civic initiative, as the first scholarly institution founded as a non-profit organization in East Central Europe. The Center was founded with the aim of continuing within a new, independent institutional framework the international research that had been coordinated for several years by the international research section of the 1956 Institute in Budapest. Since January of 1999 the Center, an NGO, has been functioning as an independent legal entity as a foundation.
One of the main goals of the Center is to provide research of Cold War history in Hungary with an organizational framework and material conditions that make it possible for Hungarian research to be on the cutting edge of the international Cold War history research and to help Hungarian research be integrated with the international level of scholarship.
The Center continues the intensive cooperation that developed between the the 1956 Institute and the network of international Cold War history research coordinated by the Woodrow Wilson Center's Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) and the National Security Archive (NSA) in Washington D.C. since the early nineteen-nineties.
Thus, from the time of its establishment the Center has been contributing to the flourishing of the "new Cold War history" aimed at transforming the previous one-sided approach based primarily on Western sources, finally into a real international discipline through the systematic exploration of the once top secret documents found in the archives in the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc countries.