The purpose of the Centre is to collect, rescue, record, and preserve printed, written, and audio-visual material relating to the history of the city and wider area of Thessaloniki. It also promotes and facilitates historical research relating to Thessaloniki and seeks to rouse the interest of foreigners in the modern city and its historical past. It is governed by an Advisory Committee made up of distinguished local scholars.
The Centre has preserved the Municipal Archive and is classifying it, and has also acquired a number of private archives by gift or purchase. It has built up a history library, comprising 4,000 books, 3,000 photographs, 5,000 postcards, posters, videocassettes, and historical maps.
It publicises its research work with temporary exhibitions illustrating the historical continuity of Thessaloniki and the wider area of Macedonia, organises conferences and lecture series, and hosts events organised by other institutions with related interests. The History Centre also produces a scholarly journal titled Thessaloniki, containing original scholarly articles, and books on Thessaloniki and its history.
The Centre intends to convert the citys archives into electronic form to make them more accessible to researchers, and to link up to the Internet so that information and knowledge about the history of Thessaloniki will be accessible to a wider public.