Founded in 1994 , CIDEHUS was initially the “Research Centre for Development in Human and Social Sciences”. Its nuclear field of study was then Sociology.

Its activity was organized into four major fields:

1) Sociology of Development;

2) History of Southern Europe and the Mediterranean;

3) Education and Training;

4) General Linguistics.

In 2001 , when History was defined as its core field , it changed its name to Interdisciplinary Centre for History, Culture and Societies , maintaining the same acronym (CIDEHUS). Six lines of research were then defined:

1) The South: social and political dynamics in Alentejo (11th-20th centuries)

2) The South: cultures, discourses and representations

3) Heritage, archaeology and material culture in the South of Portugal

4) Portugal and Europe

5) Portugal, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean (12th-18th)

6) Portugal and Portuguese-speaking territories

In 2007, CIDEHUS focused on the southern problematic , condensing the previous six lines into three groups:

RG1: Social and cultural historical dynamics in the Iberian South and in the Mediterranean
RG2: Heritage, material culture and Archaeology in Southern Europe and in the Mediterranean
RG3: Libraries and Information Science in the South

Its core programme was again readjusted at the end of 2013 , structured around the concept: "History, heritage and societal changes: a laboratory of the South". Two lines were created, subdivided into groups – “L1: Societal Change” and “L2 - Heritage and intercultural understanding” – plus an articulation group – “Literacy and textual Heritage”.

CIDEHUS then assumed the laboratory  form to emphasize its dynamism and its interest in applied knowledge.

In 2018 , CIDEHUS goes through a new reform and the previous two lines and five groups are concentrated in two main groups:

G1 – Societal changes

G2 – Heritage, literacies and intercultural understanding

With this reform, CIDEHUS aims to strengthen cohesion, stimulate collaborative research and promote interdisciplinary approaches.

In CIDEHUS’ recent past, we’d like to highlight the following institutional milestones:

- 2013 – Creation of the UNESCO Chair in Intangible Heritage

- 2014 – Creation of the Laboratory of Demography (DemoLab)

- 2016 – Launching of CIDEHUS Digital

- 2017 – Creation of Tourism Creative Lab