The main scientific directions of the department are to investigate the traditional folklore of Azerbaijan, to explain the historical-chronological development characters of Azerbaijan folklore in order, to investigate the theoretical problems of folklore-study, according to the collected materials to publish the folklore anthology and folklore complete works, to study the local, regional, ethnic, national and universal characters and connection.
From 2003 till 2013 this scientific-investigation department was named Azerbaijan folklore and its head was the famous folklorists, doctor of sciences on philology, professor I.I.Abbasli. Israfil Ismayil oglu Abbasli was born on the 1st of February in 1938 in Iravan city. During 1955-1960 years he studied at the faculty of History-Philology at Iravan State Pedagocigal Institute. He began to work in 1961 at the Institute of Literature and Language in Azerbaijan Sciencies Academy. During 1987-1997 years he was the head of the Folklore department at the Institute of Literature named after Nizami, during 1997-2002 years he was the head of the department Azerbaijan folklore at ANAS Scientific-Cultural Centre “Folklore Palace”, during 2003-2013 years he was the head of department Azerbaijan folklore at the Institute of Folklore. In 1966 he defended the thesis on candidate, in 1986 he defended the thesis on doctor, but in 1998 he got the degree of professor on the branch of Folklore-study. During many years I.I.Abbasli was a member of Folklore Council in the part of Language and Literature of Scientific Academy of USSR, he represented Azerbaijan folklore-study in many Common Union and International conferences. He was one of the members of authors of the 1st volume of “History of Azerbaijan literature” and 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th volumes of Azerbaijan Soviet Encyclopedia. Being the editor-in-chief of “Dede Gorgud Encyclopedia” in two volumes I.I.Abbasli had three monographies, about ten compiling and collecting books, more than fifty scientific articles. He was an editor, a reviewer of many monographies, collections and at the same time he was also an author of dictionaries and explanations. I.I.Abbasli died in 2013.
Now doctor of philosophy on philology, assistant professor Rza Zeynal oglu Khalilov leads the department. He was born on the 11th of November in Baku in an educated family. In 1962 he entered the faculty of oriental studies at Baku State University. During 1966-1967 years he had the Arabian language training at Cairo University. In 1968 he graduated from the faculty of Arabian philology at Baku State University. During 1969-1971 years he worked as a translator on the Arabian language in Irag. In 1971 he entered the post graduate course on the speciality of folklore-study at the Institute of Literature named after Nizami ANAS. During 1978-1982 years he worked as a translator in Soviet Embassy in Yaman Arabian Republic. From 1983 he continued his scientific activity at the Institute of Literature. In 1989 he defended the thesis “The hero characters in Azerbaijani and Arabian magic tales”. During 1994-2001 years he worked at the department of East languages of Literature faculty at the Ataturk University in Erzurum city of Turkey. During 2001-2002 years he worked as a senior scientific worker in the Scientific-Cultural Centre “Folklore Palace”, from 2003 he worked as a senior scientific worker and a leading scientific worker. In 2014 he was elected as a head of the department “Classic folklore”.