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A method has been developed for the study of grain boundary migration in high purity aluminum, which allows positive determination of the direction of grain boundary movements. By means of this method it was confirmed that the migration of grain boundaries resulting from surface energy takes place in the direction toward the centers of curvature of the boundaries. On the other hand, strain induced grain boundary migration, such as occurs in recrystallization, proceeds in a direction away from the centers of curvature of the moving boundaries. It was also found that certain strained grains serve as nuclei for strain‐free grains of the same orientation which grow at the expense of neighboring strained grains. Most of the strain‐free grains formed during the annealing of high purity aluminum cold rolled up to about 40 percent are produced by this mechanism of strain‐induced boundary migration, without the formation of new nuclei.