Oxidation of pyritic fossils and iron sulfide-bearing minerals is a common problem in natural history collections, and several solutions have been developed to treat and restore these specimens to reduce continued deterioration. Labels associated with these specimens are often also severely damaged by the sulfuric acid and iron sulfate products of pyrite oxidation. This article documents trials undertaken on labels that have been contaminated with these deterioration products to a high extent and are therefore extremely fragile. It recommends a potential salvage method, even for labels that are seemingly impossible to lift out of storage trays. This project exemplifies how techniques developed across different conservation disciplines can benefit natural history collections.

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Author notes

Associate Editor.—Mariana Di Giacomo