CELLULOID OBJECTS: THEIR CHEMISTRY AND PRESERVATION
JULIE A. REILLY
THERE IS very little concrete and practical information available on the treatment and storage of celluloid. Research into its compatibility with other resins and compounds would allow more specific treatment recommendations, and experimentation with storage materials and containers would allow more specific housing suggestions. An examination of environmental control techniques for cases and storage units may provide ideas for maximum protection of celluloid objects from inherent and environmental degradation.
Celluloid is a material from which new information and techniques will grow. As the myriad synthetic polymers around us age and gain historical and even ethnographic (if not archaeological) value, conservators will be increasingly faced with a new class of materials that require treatment and care. If conservators are to be prepared to face the treatment, housing, and exhibition needs of plastics, they must begin research and experimentation now. For many celluloid objects it is already too late.