The Research Center for the Study of Modern Greek History (KEINE) of the Academy of Athens was founded in 1945 under the name of Historical Archive of Modern Hellenism (IANE), but became operational in September 1957.
The need for establishing an "Archive" was the idea of Byzantine History Professor and Academician Konstantinos Amantos (1874-1960), who in his proposal to the House of the Academy pointed out that the Modern Greek History, especially from the Revolution of 1821 onwards, had not been written and that IANE could fill important gaps in historical research.
The original mission of IANE was "the study of Modern Hellenism and its relations with neighboring nations, and the influence of Hellenism over the Balkan peoples." Within this objective a library and an archive were set up and the publication of a journal and monographs was planned.
The principle objective reflected the trends of modern Greek historiography of the interwar period and especially the historiographical approach of Amantos. In other words, the programming of IANE laid emphasis on the collection and publication of sources concerning the study of the relationship between Greece and the Balkan states. This approach was in line with the dominant national ideology of the interwar period. Especially after the dramatic experience of the Occupation, it was a powerful incentive for the foundation of IANE and for identifying its mission.
Although IANE was founded in 1945, the difficult postwar conditions delayed the start of its operation. It only became operational in 1957, when the first Director of the Archive, Professor of History at the University George Kolias was hired under a contract. As early as 1957 IANE began to hire non-permanent academic and administrative staff.
Initially, IANE was housed in an office of the main Academy of Athens building and later in offices in 44 Panepistimiou Avenue.
In 1966 the Historical Archive of Modern Hellenism of the Academy of Athens was renamed Research Center for the Study of Modern Greek History.
Meanwhile, in 1962 the historian Eleftherios Prevelakis (1919-1991) had become the direction of IANE. From the beginning of his tenure (1962-1980), Prevelakis organized the Centre as a documentation center on the history of Modern Greece from the early 19th century onwards. This orientation became a dominant feature of KEINE to this day.
To this end, in 1963 a series of new infrastructure projects was launched:
- Compilation of the Historical Bibliography of the Modern Hellenism (1800 onwards)
- Establishment of a microfilm collection of foreign archives,
- Publication of sources related to the history of Modern Hellenism.
- Archive of Modern Greek Writers: founded in 1974 as an annex to KEINE, the "Archive of Modern Greek Writers" aims to preserve, study, publish and promote manuscripts of modern Greek writers and musicians.
- Second World War Committee: During the period 1977-1980 KEINE collaborated with the Second World War Committee of the Athens Academy of Athens set up in 1977 to establish a cooperation between Greece and the International Committee of the History of World War II and the promotion of relevant research in Greece. Within the Commission's objectives, KEINE set up a specialised library and launched a number of research projects based on archival sources for the period of the Second World War.