Toronto Metropolitan University
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Unboxing Nelvana: animation cel preservation and storage for the Nelvana animation collection

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posted on 2021-06-08, 14:44 authored by Heather Tinker
With no concrete preservation practices in place, the conservation and preservation of animation cels is a challenge for the stewards of animation-related collections. Characterized as mixed media artefacts, animation cels fall somewhere between illustrative art and motion picture film, which partially accounts for the lack of defined guidelines. Studies researching the conservation of animation cels, such as the one conducted by the Getty Conservation Institute in collaboration with the Disney Animation Research Library are so recent that, to date, no conclusive findings have been established. This practical report focuses on the organization, conservation, and storage of the Nelvana Animation Collection housed at Media Commons, University of Toronto Libraries. The information and recommendations provided within are intended as a guide for approaching animation cel care and conservation following “best known practices.” These practices include currently adopted methods of cel conservation, as well as techniques borrowed from the conservation practices of similar objects.





  • Master of Arts


  • Film and Photography Preservation and Collection Management

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis Project