In 1937 basing on the order of the Central Committee of Azerbaijan dated 1925 and titled “On the study of natural resources of republic and regioning” was organized a sector of Geography in the structure of Azerbaijan branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and by this was laid the foundation of Azerbaijan geographical school, always occupying a particular place in the scientific sphere of the former USSR.
By formation of the given sector the geographical science completed its descriptive function and begins systematic geographical researches in Azerbaijan.
Under the leadership of such great scholars as I.V. Figurovsky, H.A. Aliyev, R.B. Kovalyev and H.B. Aliyev during its eight years activity the researches on physical and economical, soil geography, cartography, seismology and astronomy were carried out in the sector.
In 1945 may 1 on the basis of given sector the Institute of Geography of the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR was organized which H.B. Aliyev director was appointed.
During 60 years activity the Institute, beside H.B. Aliyev, was directed by A.M. Shikhlinsky (1948-1951), A.A. Madatzade (1951-1957), G.K. Gul (1957-1964), S.H. Rustamov (1964-1967), H.A. Aliyev (1967-1988) and B.A. Budagov (1988-2012).
Since July 1945 the departments of physical and economical geography, cartography began to function at the Institute. One of the main themes of researched becomes the geography of mountainous countries.
In spite of that the initial years there was not a single of workers with scientific degree, in 1947 11 workers out of 20 were already candidate of science, and 3 joined the postgraduate studentship.
Taking into account of universality the objects and themes of geographical researches in 1950 the personnel potential in the structure of Institute consisted of 6 departments.
Since 1959 the Centre of Problems of the Caspian Sea has been functioning at the Institute of Geography.