A couple decades ago, someone from the Smithsonian Museum Studies/Methods group (I forget the correct name) told us at ECN to take our labels after printing, put a clean piece of paper over it, and press it with a hot (cotton setting) iron (yes, like the one you use on your shirts), wait until it cooled and remove the top sheet.  This remelts the ink and presses it into the fibers of the paper like an old fashioned printing press. We have done this ever since, it seems odd, but it does seem to work as we have not had any label losses in all that time.


On 8/1/2016 3:54 PM, John M Heraty wrote:
[log in to unmask]" type="cite">
Dear all, 

Just to clarify, the Datamax is a different style of printer that prints specialized plastic labels. We (and the AMNH) use a similar Sato Printer for all of our “barcode” identifiers (it could be used for locality labels).  So this is a different issue than Lexmark or laser printer labels. Follow the link below to see the printer.

As a note, I have never had any “recent" problem with label floating on any of my laser printer labels. I think the trick for ethanol labels is to print them on normal paper, not card stock. The higher temperature as the paper passes through the printer likely binds the ink better.

All the best,


On Aug 1, 2016, at 2:30 PM, Robert Anderson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

We do not use a laser printer but rather a Lexmark (I think) inkjet printer and have not had any problems.  Over the years I've seen many laser printed labels where letters have come off and I would not suggest they be used for archival purposes.  A good inkjet printer is what we use. Nothing else.  
From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Catherine Ann Tauber [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: August 1, 2016 5:09 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Datamax Label Problem

Hi Mike,

Your guess sounds like a good possibility. You also might want to test whether the labels need a period of drying before they are put into alcohol. I found (with an old HP laser printer) that the print held up very nicely if I let the labels "dry" for several days to a week before putting them into alcohol. If they went into alcohol too soon after printing (before a day or two), the lettering would rub off.

Good luck,

Kady Tauber

From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Mike Ferro <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, August 1, 2016 4:26 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Datamax Label Problem

We have a Datamax O'Neil p1115s Performance Series printer for alcohol locality labels and database labels (wet and dry).

We've been working with these labels for over a year now and not had any problems. I just checked a label that has been immersed in alcohol
for more than a year and it was perfectly fine.

BUT! Today we found a vial where the black lettering had floated off the white label. The letters were still intact (a capital B was floating around), indicating separation, not dissolution.

An additional label in another vial was tested (see attached) and the letters smudged off immediately. Both vials were full of caddisflies that had been cleared in KOH, rinsed in EtOH, then added to the vial and the vial was filled with EtOH. The labels had been in the vials for about two weeks. (Right now the only affected labels are from a known locality, so no data have been lost.)

Other labels in vials that contained caddisflies from the same batch that had not been cleared did not smudge.

So my working hypotheses are either: 1) the basic solution caused lettering to separate; 2) the printer malfunctioned and perhaps didn't anneal the letters good enough; or 3) combination of the two.

We currently have an experiment running
with fresh printed labels
: Dry; 95% EtOH; 10% KOH; 95% EtOH with two drops of 10% KOH.

Has anyone else run into this situation?
Are datamax labels that susceptible to pH?



[Inline image 1]
Michael L. Ferro
Collection Manager, Clemson University Arthropod Collection (CUAC)
Dept. of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
MAIL: 277 Poole Agricultural Center
OFFICE: 307 Long Hall
Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0310
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Subject Editor: The Coleopterists Bulletin; Insecta Mundi


Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.

NOTE: two addresses with different Zip Codes depending on carriers

US Post Office Address:
Montana Entomology Collection
Marsh Labs, Room 50      
PO Box 173145
Montana State University                
Bozeman, MT 59717

UPS, FedEx, DHL Address:
Montana Entomology Collection
Marsh Labs, Room 50      
1911 West Lincoln Street
Montana State University                
Bozeman, MT 59718

(406) 994-4610 (voice)
(406) 994-6029 (FAX)
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