The Cinémathèque suisse contributes to numerous research projects and regularly welcomes historians, scientists and academics from all over the world to its premises, giving them access to its vast collection. The institution has established close links with universities, including the Universities of Lausanne and Zurich, and helps to organise courses and symposiums.

Puppet by Gisèle and Nag Ansorge, animation filmmakers whose work is of interest to many students © Association FilmONs !

University of Lausanne (UNIL)

The Cinémathèque suisse has maintained a regular and fruitful dialogue with the University of Lausanne since the creation of its Cinema History and Aesthetics section in 1990. This collaboration came about through regular screening cycles, conferences, public courses and professional training courses for students. In the field of research, these constant exchanges have led to various publications, including the reference work Histoire du cinéma suisse 1966-2000 (2007), edited by Hervé Dumont, then-director of the Cinémathèque suisse, and by Maria Tortajada, professor at the Section. Since 2006, the two institutions have been partners in the Réseau Cinéma CH, a cooperation project for master's and doctoral training.

In 2009, with the appointment of Frédéric Maire as director of the Cinémathèque suisse, the two institutions initiated an official partnership, signed in 2010, which focuses on three main areas: research and promotion of the Cinémathèque suisse's collections, teaching and screenings, and cultural outreach. This partnership aims in particular to develop research projects on the Cinémathèque suisse’s collections, to renew knowledge in film history and to promote the circulation of knowledge and cooperation between archivists and historians.

Under the direction of a steering committee consisting of representatives of the Cinémathèque suisse and the UNIL’s Cinema History and Aesthetics section, this collaboration has already allowed for extensive mapping of the collections, and above all has made it possible to launch more than a dozen research projects supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) on various subjects such as the history of the Cinémathèque, Bolex cameras and Nagra recorders, the work of Nag and Gisèle Ansorge, and the cinema of Alain Tanner. Details on this collaboration and joint research projects are available on a dedicated website.

University of Zurich (UZH)

The Cinémathèque suisse also maintains a long and close collaboration with the Film Studies Seminar of the University of Zurich. The Zurich research and archive centre provides funds for research projects and publications, hosts groups of students and introduces them to the basics of archiving work. As part of a joint course, the online publication "Bilder einer Stadt : eine Zürcher Film- und Stadtgeschichte" was produced in 2019 from commissioned films from Zurich, one of the major projects developed by the German-language branch of Cinémathèque suisse. In addition, both institutions have digitised journals from their collections and made them available on E-Periodica.