The Portuguese Cinemateca-Museu do Cinema is the national body, supervised by the Minister of Culture, whose mission is to safeguard and publicize cinematographic heritage. It was founded in the early 1950s by one of the pioneers of European cinematheques, Manuel Félix Ribeiro, and became an autonomous institution in 1980. Since 1956, the Cinemateca has been a member of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), created in 1938 , with the aim of promoting the conservation and knowledge of cinematographic heritage, combining the efforts of the most important archives in the world, and which currently has more than 150 affiliates from 77 countries. Also in 1956, the first Cinemateca’s own room, dedicated to its exhibition activity, was inaugurated. In 1996, Cinemateca opened a modern conservation center on the outskirts of Lisbon, which is currently the base for all preservation, technical research and access activities, including the use of new technologies.
The Cinemateca played a decisive role in the creation and development of the network of European institutions dedicated to the preservation of European cinematographic heritage, being co-founder of the European Association of Cinematheques (ACE) and participating in several programs, such as: Project LUMIÈRE (European Media Program I, 1991-1995, which was headquartered in Lisbon); ARCHIMEDIA – European Training Network for the Promotion of Film Heritage; “Urgent: Nitrate Can’t Wait” (program Raphael); European Film Gateway (2008-2011).