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The institute was created in 1985 by José María López Piñero, professor of History of Medicine in the Universitat de València and its first director, with the name of Institute of Historical and Scientific Studies. It had a Library and a Historical-Medical Museum, and also a Biomedical Documentation and Information Centre. It is run by María Luz Terrada Ferrandis, professor of Documentation.

The main aims of this centre were: the study of Spanish and Iberoamerican scientific activity from antique times, the study of medical systems, the elaboration of bibliographical and documentary works, obtaining indicators of scientific and sanitary activity, the creation of data base (among them; IME, Spanish medical index), the study of scientific terminology and the study of scientific and medical necessities.
In 2008 the institute was restructured and focused on the history of medicine and science research activity, integrating the historical-medical Library Vicente Peset Llorca and the new Museum of Medicine and Science History (currently is being organized). The aim of this reorganization was to supply the centre with a new project and scientific identity. This reorganization coincided with the moving of the centre to the current headquarters in the recently restored Palacio Cerveró, historical building which belongs to the Universitat de València.
The backgrounds of the institute were the Institute of Medical History, created by professor López P¡ñero in the 70’s under the protection of the Institución Alfons el Magnànim of the Regional Government of Valencia, the Seminar of Medical History and the Chair of Medical History of the Universitat de València, which were the origin of the current institute.
The aims of the institute are:
To develop and encourage the research activity in the field of historical and social studies about medicine and science.
To teach postgraduate studies (master and doctorate) in the area of history of the science and scientific communication, in the framework of Official Post-graduate Programs in the Universitat de València.
To carry out dissemination and divulgation activities of scientific culture.
To preserve, study and disseminate the historical-medical and historical-scientific heritage through the digitalisation of printed documents, the cataloguing and study of medical and scientific instrumentation, the dissemination of the bibliographic and documentary fund.