For more than a millenium, the Croatian language has been a fundamental guarantee of preservation of Croatian identity, a link reflecting and developing a feeling of collectiveness among all those who were thinking in Croatian language and who communicated in it. It is because of this consciousness of collectiveness that the Croatian language has pretained despite many centuries of surpression by more powerful languages, not only by the number of their speakers, but also by their political power.
The Institute of Croatian language and linguistics was founded in 1948 under the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Hrvatska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti). In more than 60 years of its existance, the Institute has been changing its name and organization many times, but it has never denied its fundamental task - to provide for Croatian language and to preserve Croatian linguistic identity. The Institute has always been nurturing Croatian linguistic culture, encouraged the expressive development of linguistic theories, systematically explored Croatian dialectal and onomastic heritage, and constructed the fundamental works of Croatian lexicography and linguistics.
The Government of Croatia founded the Institute of Croatian language and linguistics in 1996 as the central state institution for research and cultivation of the Croatian language, as the deposit for cultivation of the Croatian linguistic tradition, and maintenance of the linguistic identity. Today the Institute has other goals and missions. On the national level, it should coordinate collaboration between various scientific institutions in all the decisions concerning Croatian language. This mission is especially important in the time when Croatia is joining the European Union, that is in the time when the status of Croatian language is being redefined in international communication, and in the time of general globalization, which is endangering even the languages with a larger number of speakers than Croatian.