The theory of self-trapping of amide I vibrational energy in crystalline acetanilide is studied in detail. A spectrum of stationary, self-trapped (soliton) solutions is determined and tested for dynamic stability. Only those solutions for which the amide I energy is concentrated near a single molecule were found to be stable. Exciton modes were found to be unstable to decay into solitons. © 1984 The American Physical Society.