The measurement of the pH in alcohol-preserved natural history collections is fraught with considerable theoretical and methodological difficulties. A major problem is the concentration-dependent effect of ethanol. Based on empirical results in connection with data from the literature, this study aims to estimate the shape and magnitude of this effect and suggest an approximate method to correct for it. It surfaces that considerable problems are caused by the use of distilled water for the dilution of preservation fluids.

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Author notes

Associate Editor.—Janet Waddington