1. The assumption, has generally been made that collodion membranes are rigid and non-swelling in water and aqueous solutions of strong electrolytes, and considerable uncertainty exists as to the manner in which water is taken up by "dried" collodion membranes. In approaching these problems experimentally, the weight and volume changes of collodion membranes when placed in water and when transferred from water to solutions of strong electrolytes were determined.
2. Dried collodion membranes swell reversibly to an appreciable extent when placed in water, the swelling varying from 5 to 11 per cent depending on the brand of collodion. The water uptake and swelling of oxidized collodion is the same as the original unoxidized preparation.
3. The water uptake as determined by the weight increase is larger than could be accounted for by the volume increase, swelling accounting for only 60 to 70 per cent of the water taken up by the membranes.
4. When the "water-wetted dried" collodion membranes were transferred from water to solutions of various strong electrolytes, there was no detectable change in volume. Similarly, when the "porous" membranes were transferred from water to solutions of strong electrolytes, there was no significant volume change.
5. When dried collodion membranes swell in water, some of the water becomes "bound" water, and both intramicellar and intermicellar swelling seem to occur. Therefore, neither the weight increase nor the volume increase nor their difference can be taken as a measure of the true pore space of the membrane. It is concluded that the important problem is not the absolute water content, but how much water in the water-wet membranes is available in useful pathways for the different solutes.