Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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cellulose nitrate

A film made from cotton waste, wood, or waste cellulose film. It is produced by the nitration of cellulose, usually with a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids. It has been used as a film base for photographic purposes, as well as to encase documents, book leaves, etc.; however, its flammability, the fact that it causes severe deterioration of the materials it supposedly protects (because of the generation of oxides of nitrogen which yield nitric acid in the presence of water), and the fact that it cannot be manufactured in thickness down to 0.001 inch, has precluded its use in preservation work. (34 , 81 )

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