The Department is established in the year 1968 and offers two year Master’s degree course in History with specialisations in Ancient Indian History, Medieval Indian History and Modern Indian History. During the last several years the departmental activities in the fields of teaching and research have increased considerably. The M.Phil. course designed to provide theory and practical knowledge of research work in History was introduced in 1979-80. One-year course in Tourism and Indian Monuments, was introduced in 1984 as first of its kind in the state. Only Post-Graduates in History, Culture & Archaeology are eligible to seek admission into the course. This course is unique in India in the field of Tourism and Monuments and imparts instructions on different aspects of Tourism and Monuments of India in general and Orissa in particular with field study and destination oriented practical course.
The Department has Museum and Archival Cell which contains a large number of Palmleaf Manuscripts, Gazetteers, Reports, Proceedings, Private Papers, Museum Objects and Rare Books relating to history and culture. The reference section caters to the needs of scholars who utilise the materials preserved in the Museum and Archival Cell.
Highly committed teachers are engaged in teaching and research in various fields in general and regional history in particular. In recognition to the academic achievements of the department the UGC has sanctioned the Special Assistance Programme (at DRS level) to the department from the academic session 1999-2000. The Department has successfully completed Phase-I and Phase-II level and now the UGC has upgraded the SAP, from Phase-II to Phase-III level further for a period of five years i.e. from 01.04.2009 to 31.03.2014. The UGC has also sanctioned the ASIHSS programme in addition to SAP, for its achievement in the first phase of SAP for a period five years from 2006-07.
The Department has been organising National and State Level Seminars, conducting Refresher Courses/Conferences/Workshops from time to time. The teachers of the Department have earned International fame by visiting foreign countries as Visiting Fellow/Professor and participating in International Seminars and Conferences at regular intervals. The faculty members are associated with the U.G.C., the U.P.S.C., different State P.S.Cs and such other prestigious organizations at national and state levels. Further, the teachers have been taking up academic assignments as Resource Persons and Visiting Professors of different universities. Besides these, the department is also publishing a bi-annual research journal entitled Studies in History and Culture (ISSN: 0971-9326) of international standard since 1993. Since 2006-07, the Department is publishing a yearly edited volume, Studies on Orissan History under the ASIHSS programme.