Some of Canada’s oldest films and photographs, recorded on deteriorating and highly combustible cellulose nitrate, now have a safe home. Library and Archives Canada unveiled its new $14.7-million preservation facility for nitrate film on the government’s Shirleys Bay campus Tuesday.

The new building now houses 5,575 reels of nitrate film dating back to 1912. Famous titles include Back to God’s Country (1919), the oldest existing Canadian feature film, and Churchill’s Island, the first Canadian film to win an Oscar (in 1941). There are also almost 600,000 nitrate photograph negatives.

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