Department of Humanitarian and Social Sciences was founded on 27 March, 1945, in the same day with ANAS. In the 21st of May of the same year its structure was confirmed by ANAS.
Then the Department was called Department of Social Sciences. There were 8 scientific-research institutions. 5 of them were institutes (Institutes of Literature, Linguistics, History, Philosophy, Art), 2 were museums (Museum of Nizami and History Museum) and was a sector (Sector of Economy). The first Academician-Secretary (then was called chairman) of the department was Heydar Huseynov, a scientist who had great services in the fields of the research of dialectal and historical materialism, history of philosophy, aesthetics, literary criticism and linguistics. During that period he was an active member of ANAS. This scientific organization had 7 members: 6 academicians and a scientific secretary. They were Samad Vurgun - a poet, Mirza Ibrahimov - a writer, Uzeyir Hajibeyov - a composer, Heydar Huseynov - a philosopher, Mikayil Huseynov and Sadig Dadashov - architects. All of them were the members of the staff consisting of 15 persons that were confirmed by ANAS according to the decision of Council of People Commissars of Azerbaijani SSR in on 27 March, 1945.
From the year of 1981, Department of Social Sciences continued its activity with two independent branches - Departments of History, Philosophy, Law and Departments of Literature, Linguistics, Art. Igrar Aliyev (then he was a correspondent member), academician was elected to the Department of History, Philosophy and Law and Mammad Jafar Jafarov, academician was elected academic secretary to the Department of Literature, Linguistics and Art.
Such structural changes in the field of social sciences were implemented according to the decision of Azerbaijani CP CC dated December 29, 1980 and the order signed by Council of Azerbaijani Ministers on January 21, 1981.
In 2001, in the general meeting of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, the departments of Literature, Linguistics and Art were consolidated. Aghamusa Akhundov, correspondening member was elected Academician-Secretary to the Department and according to the decision of the Presidium he appointed to the same post.
Currently, there are 10 academicians, 28 corresponding members at the department.
Today, there are 11 institutes in the composition of the Department. These are: Institute of History (Director: Yagub Mahmudov, corresponding member of ANAS), Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography (Director: Maisa Rahimova, Doctor of historical Sciences), Institute of Oriental Studies (Director: Govhar Bakhshaliyeva, Doctor of Philology), Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Law (Director: Ilham Mammadzadeh, Doctor of Philosophical sciences), Institute of Economy (Director: Isa Aliyev, Doctor of Economical sciences), Institute of Human Rights (Director: Ayten Mustafayeva, PhD in Juridical sciences), Institute of Literature (Director: Isa Habibbayli, academician), Institute of Linguistics (Director: Tofig Hajiyev, correspondent member of ANAS), Institute of Architecture and Art (Director: Ertegin Salamzadeh, Doctor of Art), Institute of Manuscripts (Director: Teymur Karimli, correspondent member of ANAS), Institute of Folklore (Director: Mukhtar Imanov, Doctor of Philology); 3 museums: National History Museum of Azerbaijan (Naila Valikhanli, active member of ANAS), National Museum of Azerbaijani Literature(Director: Rafael Huseynov, correspondent member of ANAS), Huseyn Javid's Memorial Flat (Director: Gulbaniz Babakhanli, Doctor of Philology).
According to the decision dated February 27, 2014 of the Presidium of ANAS, 2 more institutes have been founded attached to Department of Humanitarian and Social Sciences: Institute of Science History and Institute of World Policy.
Academic secretaries of the department
Department of Humanitarian and Social Sciences has had different stages during its development process. Vice-Presidents of ANAS - Heydar Huseynov, academician (1945-1950) and Samad Vurgun Vakilov, academician (1954-1956) led Department of Social Sciences which consolidated humanitarian and social sciences from 1945 to 1956.
Later, Mammad Arif Dadashzadeh, academician (1959-1961), Ismayil Huseynov, academician (1962-1967), Mammadaga Shiraliyev (1968-1969) and Alovsat Sumbatzadeh (1970-1980) were appointed to the same post of this Department.
In 1981, on the basis of sociological sciences were founded two independent departments - Departments of History, Philosophy and Law; Departments of Literature, Linguistics and Art. The first Department was led by Igrar Aliyev, correspondent member, the second one by Mammad Jafar Jafarov.
In 1985, the academic secretariat of Department of History, Philosophy and Law was entrusted Ahmad Mahmudov, academician. In 1987, the academic secretariat of Department of Literature, Linguistics and Art was entrusted Bakir Nabiyev. During that time, B.Nabiyev was a correspondent member of ANAS. A.Mahmudov disharged his post up to 1987 and B.Nabiyev to 2001.
From the year 1987 the post of academic secretary of Department of History, Philosophy and Law was held by Aslan Aslanov, correspondent member of ANAS. Two years later, A.Aslanov became an academician of ANAS and to the end of his life (1995) he held the same post.
From the year 1990, Department of History, Philosophy and Law was called Department of Sociological Sciences. From 1997 to 2001 Jamil Guliyev was academic secretary of this Department.
In 2001, on the basis of Department of Social Sciences and Department of Literature, Linguistics and Art, was founded Department of Humanitarian and Social Sciences. This Department was led by Aghamusa Akhundov, correspondent member of ANAS. A.Akhundov was the eleventh academic secretary of the same Department.
In 2011 Aghamusa Akhundov, academician appointed to the post of advisor of ANAS, that's why he dismissed the post of academic secretary. From September 1, 2011, Kamal Mehdi oghlu Abdullayev, correspondent member of ANAS was appointed as an executor of academic secretary of Department of Humanitarian and Social Sciences. According to Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijani President's order dated February 28, 2014, K.Abdullayev appointed to the post of State Advisor on international, intercultural and religious issues of Azerbaijani Republic. So, according to the decision of Presidium of ANAS dated March 12, 2014, K.Abdullayev dismissed the post of academic secretary by his own request and Teymur Hashim oghlu Karimli, active member of ANAS appointed to the same post.