U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jan 23, 2020
(a) The nitrocellulose base, a substance akin to gun cotton, is chemically unstable and highly flammable. Agencies must handle nitrocellulose-base film (used in the manufacture of sheet film, 35 mm motion pictures, aerial and still photography into the 1950s) as specified below:
(1) Remove nitrocellulose film materials (e.g., 35mm motion picture film and large series of still pictures) from records storage areas.
(2) Notify NARA, by mail at National Archives and Records Administration; Special Media Records Division (RDS); 8601 Adelphi Road; College Park, MD 20740-6001, or by email at [email protected] (for photographs) or [email protected] (for motion picture film), about the existence of nitrocellulose film materials for a determination of whether they may be destroyed or retained after a copy is made by the agency for transfer to NARA. If NARA appraises nitrate film materials as disposable and the agency wishes to retain them, the agency must follow the standard NFPA 40-2007 (incorporated by reference, see § 1237.3).
(3) Follow the packing and shipping of nitrate film as specified in Department of Transportation regulations (49 CFR 172.101, Hazardous materials table; 172.504, Transportation; 173.24, Standard requirements for all packages; and 173.177, Motion picture film and X-ray film - nitrocellulose base).
(b) Agencies must inspect cellulose-acetate film periodically for an acetic odor, wrinkling, or the presence of crystalline deposits on the edge or surface of the film that indicate deterioration. Notify NARA, by mail at National Archives and Records Administration; Special Media Records Division (RDS); 8601 Adelphi Road; College Park, MD 20740-6001, or by email at [email protected] (for photographs) or [email protected] (for motion picture film), immediately after inspection about deteriorating permanent or unscheduled audiovisual records composed of cellulose acetate so that they can be copied by the agency prior to transfer of the original and duplicate film to NARA.