These date codes are located on the edge (outside the perforations) of most Eastman Kodak motion picture film stock manufactured through 1989.  The codes refer to the date of manufacture, not the date of exposure or processing.  The codes for the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada vary until 1951.  Beginning in 1951, the codes are the same for the three countries.  The codes for the United States repeat every 20 years until 1982.  Beginning in 1982, three symbols are used.  Prior to 1951, the codes for the United Kingdom repeat every 19 years and the codes for Canada repeat every 11 years.

To read the codes, orient the film so that any writing placed on the film at the time of manufacture reads correctly.  The codes on a negative will be white, while those on a positive will be black.  The symbols may be either open or solid.

Other film manufacturers do not use these codes.  Some use no markings, some use dates directly, and some use other codes.

Beginning in 1990, Eastman Kodak date codes are represented by two alpha designators.


Information courtesy Eastman Kodak Company

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