The Institute of Latvian History of the University of Latvia (ILH UL) was founded on 14 January 1936 by the Order of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia, Kārlis Ulmanis. It was planned to be the first unit of the proposed Latvian Academy of Sciences (LAS). In 1940, the Soviet occupation power reorganized the ILH, but in the years of Nazi occupation power (1941 – 1944/45) it was transformed into History repository. On 21 February 1946, together with five other institutes, transferred from the Latvian State University, the Institute of History became a unit of the LSSR AS. In 1990 the Institute regained its historical name – “the Institute of Latvian History”. In 1994, it came under the auspices of the UL as a UL agency. In 2016, the Institute of Latvian History of the UL became a full-fledged UL unit.

The mission of the ILH UL is to carry out a science-based study of Latvia's history from the most ancient times to the present in the context of European history, on the basis of historical sources. Several research directions are being developed in the ILH UL: archaeology, bioarchaeology, dendrochronology, ethnography, ethnology, history of modern and contemporary times, social history, 20th century history, etc.

Repository of Archaeological Materials, Repository of Bioarchaeological Materials, Repository of Ethnographic Materials and Dendrochronological Lab operate under it.

Periodicals of the ILH UL – “Journal of the Institute of Latvian History” (“Latvijas Vēstures Institūta Žurnāls”), “Archaeology and Ethnography” (“Arheoloģija un etnogrāfija”), series of scientific article stocks “Medieval Castles” (“Viduslaiku pilis”) and “Ancient Riga” (“Senā Rīga”).