Dear Mary,

The answer is to take it to your nearest archive that can handle nitrate
film. Has your local film archive identified the content? In itself, if
it's in good condition, nitrate is safe and obviously can last more than a
hundred years. What you have might be deemed worthless (if there's other
copies in good condition), or it can be one of a kind. See the discovery of
SOMETHING GOOD - NEGRO'S KISS from 1896 found last year and now on the LoC
National Film Registry. If you need advice of other archives who might be
more willing to take it in, please contact me directly.

Fondest regards,
Dennis Doros, Co-owner
*Milestone Film & Video • *PO Box 128 • Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: +1 (201) 767-3117 • Email: •

President, *Association of Moving Image Archivists* •
*AMIA 2019 • 11/13–16  Baltimore, MD*

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On Wed, Dec 12, 2018 at 5:48 AM <>

> Hi all,
> I have three reels of 35mm suspected as nitrate and confirmed by my local
> film archive recently. They want to dispose safely of the film via a third
> party… And don’t recommend that it is taken back into a domestic
> environment as they told me it will invalidate my house insurance.  I’m
> torn between recklessly wanting it back to set fire to myself (!) and
> document as an artwork. I have very little idea what is on it apart from
> it’s 1920s (and presumably not thought to be significant if the archive
> want to destroy it). It’s not in bad condition and has just been sitting in
> my studio for the last three years. I suddenly panicked about it
> spontaneously combusting after watching Bill Morrison’s Dawson City: Frozen
> Time, which includes lots of footage of film setting on fire!
> Any recommendations, thoughts, warnings, advice from an artist filmmaker
> perspective, rather than an archival perspective, are welcomed.
> Mary
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