The institute boasts considerable research potential. The nearly 170 researchers who are employed in the institute are involved in research and development works and, in addition to their individual projects, are committed to documentation work, including the publication of lexicons, atlases, bibliographies and editions of sources for the study of Polish history from the medieval period to the modern day for the benefit of historical research in Poland.

The institute’s statutory activities focus primarily on these two areas:
­– research and documentation work (collecting biographical and bibliographical information; carrying out studies on historical geography with elements of source criticism);
– research, source editing and source criticism related to: medieval and early modern history; medieval studies; the history of the modern period, the history of ideas of the 19th and 20th centuries; the history of Eastern Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries; the social history of the 19th and 20th centuries; the history of diplomacy and the totalitarian systems of the 20th century; the history of Poland in the second half of the 20th century; the history of Pomerania; the history of Prussia in 1871–1947).

In addition to these, the institute’s employees are involved in individual and collective research projects funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education within the agenda of the National Science Centre and the National Programme for the Development in the Humanities.