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Subject: Odor in motion picture film

Odor in motion picture film

From: David Walls <david.walls>
Date: Friday, September 8, 2000
I have a film puzzle that I hope that someone can help me solve.  I
have three 7" reels of 16mm Kodak Safety Positive film housed in
their original aluminum cans.  The film was taken during an
expedition to Africa in 1933 and arrived at Yale as part of a
collection of personal papers.  The first reel has an expected
strong vinegar smell and registers between 2 and 3 on the A-D film
base deterioration test.  The film in the second and third cans
smells strongly of naphthalene or moth balls.  The A-D test strips
placed in these cans shows only a slight change from the normal

What could be causing the moth ball smell?

David E. Walls
Preservation Librarian
Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University
PO Box 208240 (130 Wall Street)
New Haven, CT 06520-8240
Fax: 203-432-7231

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:17
                Distributed: Tuesday, September 12, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-14-17-022
Received on Friday, 8 September, 2000

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