1. A study has been made of the effect of ultraviolet irradiation, in the presence of air and nitrogen, on the conformational changes taking place in cooled solutions of gelatin prepared from thermally denatured neutral-salt-soluble collagen. 2. The increase in negative rotation and viscosity at 15° for irradiated and thermally denatured solutions of collagen becomes less as the irradiation time is increased. 3. The principal effect of ultraviolet irradiation is the fission of the primary collagen peptide chains, eventually yielding chain lengths incapable of stabilizing a helical structure. 4. Irradiation in both air and nitrogen results in a loss of tyrosine, histidine and phenylalanine, with more denaturation occurring in the presence of nitrogen.