The paper addresses the apparent lack of impact of ‘history in mathematics education’ in mathematics education research in general, and proposes new avenues for research. We identify two general scenarios of integrating history in mathematics education that each gives rise to different problems. The first scenario occurs when history is used as a ‘tool’ for the learning and teaching of mathematics, the second when history of mathematics as a ‘goal’ is pursued as an integral part of mathematics education. We introduce a multiple-perspective approach to history, and suggest that research on history in mathematics education follows one of two different avenues in dealing with these scenarios. The first is to focus on students’ development of mathematical competencies when history is used a tool for the learning of curriculum-dictated mathematical in-issues. A framework for this is described. Secondly, when using history as a goal it is argued that an anchoring of the meta-issues in the related in-issues is essential, and a framework for this is given. Both frameworks are illustrated through empirical examples.