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A general guide for using the Forum with some rules and tips
Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens
  
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Dec 12, 2018 01:45    Post subject: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

I see that most other threads here are on cleaning et al. and but this is, I hope, a proper place for this question. I'm an old hand at collecting, but about to put new numbers [and matching numbers] on my collection specimens and their labels. I'd like to use small labels that can be printed with a computer printer. In the past, I had labels and then water damage and many of the labels came off. Now there are several waterproof, extra-strong adhesive, hard to remove, stick to anything [almost] labels. I have found Avery L6008-20 labels which everyone says have great staying power and are waterproof, difficult to remove; however, many complain they don't take print well and/or the print will come off with rubbing or water - so that defeats the purpose. They also only come in silver color, which would not be my first choice [white or clear would be]. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I'd rather not hand print the numbers, if at all possible....as my collection is very large in number and my handwriting poor - more so with permanent markers. It would be nice to have labels that will last, not loose their ink, not come off unless I want them off and would allow for cleaning of appropriate specimens by running under water to remove dust and fibers when necessary.
Thanks in advance.

Note: I need for the labels to be small and square or rectangular. The Avery labels mentioned above are about 2 x 1 cm and 1 x 1 cm might even be better [but can't find any] - 15 mm x 7,5-10 mm might even be better - but small is the key word and on small specimens I can cut down as needed. On larger specimens it is not such a problem.
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wendellwilson




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PostPosted: Dec 12, 2018 02:07    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

Many years ago I prepared little printed labels about 1 cm square, with my name and space to write a catalog number and year of acquisition. I attached these to the back of specimens by first putting a gob of clear Duco cement on the matrix and letting it dry to create a solid platform for the label. Then I'd use more Duco to attach the label, and also spread a thin layer over the face of the label to render it waterproof. These labels have stood the test of time, and have remained on my old specimens decades after I sold them..
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Dec 12, 2018 05:18    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

I'm trying to avoid glue or the old-style white base applied to a specimen to which one pens in a number. Ideally, the label will have a collection number I can read and a mini 2D barcode - so I can scan with a computer scanner and up on my computer will pop up all the information on that specimen.
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Stefan Koch




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PostPosted: Dec 12, 2018 05:39    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

Hi there,

I use a 0.1 mm pigment liner to add my collection number and the find spot (which is the most important information getting lost easily). Then following the same procedure as Wendell Wilson does.
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Herman van Dennebroek




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PostPosted: Dec 12, 2018 06:41    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

I am following the same glue procedure as Wendell Wilson does. The size of the labels is ± 14 x 0.5 mm. I cut them myself out of print paper. I write the number on the label with East-Indian ink. Specimens prepared more than 40 years ago with these number labels can be washed without any damage to the label.
The picture shows the equipment that I'm using and the small labels.



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Peter




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PostPosted: Dec 12, 2018 07:00    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

Does anyone have experience with making tiny labels printed with exact locality information on similar attached to the specimen
Kind regards
Peter
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Dec 12, 2018 09:00    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

Peter wrote:
Does anyone have experience with making tiny labels printed with exact locality information on similar attached to the specimen
Kind regards
Peter


Peter, That is what I'm trying to do, among other things. One can store [at least] name, formula, location, collection number, price, comments and other information encoded into one of various 2D or QR codes. Such codes can be read by smartphone [to read only what is encoded] or the code readers can be plugged into a USB port of a computer which can read quite a small code indeed. [5mm x 5mm ; 8mm x 8mm for greater info storage] - leaving enough room on a label for a human readable number and maybe even short location information [except on the smallest specimens]. Obviously, for these you need a very good printer with high resolution printing. All this can be interfaced with a computer data base and when you scan the code on the specimen it will bring up your data file on that specimen with all the information you want and have input......

QR code can contain up to 7089 characters including special characters of any kind at 8.16 x 8.16 mm. Special micro-QR code can store even more, but the scanner has to be as good as the printer and held fairly close. Much of this software is now free, fancier costs a little, and the scanners are cheap. It takes some work to make the whole system work, but once one has it in place, it should be pretty straight forward.
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Herman van Dennebroek




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PostPosted: Dec 12, 2018 15:27    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

Using QR code is a very good idea. When your collection is small or you have just started collecting minerals, it's little work and low cost. But if your collection is large, 2000, 3000, or more specimens, it will be a very time consuming activity. I have no curator for my collection. I have to do all the work by myself.
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wendellwilson




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PostPosted: Dec 12, 2018 17:35    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

No need to go to all that trouble. Modern office desk printers have quite high resolution. I can print a label on regular (not photo) paper that is only 1 cm square, with 9 lines of type (Arial MT, all caps) that are perfectly readable with a hand lens.

I prepared the label in Photoshop. The labels for your collection could be ganged up, maybe 500 to a sheet, and then you just cut them out with an X-acto knife and glue them on.
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PostPosted: Dec 13, 2018 04:56    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

There are suppliers who will provide waterproof polyester labels you can print on a laser printer. The smallest I have seen is 13mm circular ones or 25.4 x 10 mm square ones. Anything bigger can also be bought. They can be white, silver or transparent.

I have not, I have to say, tried them on minerals.

THIS IS NOT AN ADVERT - but it gives you an idea of what is out there (the minimum order sizes for small labels are huge)

https://www.labelplanet.co.uk/adhesive-a4-laser-labels/waterproof-labels.php
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Dec 13, 2018 09:31    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

Since posting above I have done further research on what is generally known as QR code. There are many types and many densities, which allow for different quantities of data and size. Personally, I need and want on a label both a human-readable catalog number and perhaps species and short location name PLUS a QR code [small = less than 1cm x 1cm] that both contains much more data and can pull up even more data in a growing database in my computer catalog. Yes, I fully understand how much work and time it could be for someone with a large collection that is already cataloged in some way....but also think of the advantages and variations for both collectors and dealers. For example, there is a type of QR code where ONLY the owner can read everything contained in the code - for all others they see only what information you designate others to see. [one might want to hide price or other data from others, as well as your catalog number - and only show species and location to others - for example. Remember that most good smartphones and hand-held no cable scanner can read such QR code from a reasonable distance. If one doesn't want to connect to or build a database on your computer, one could use a very high density QR code - which can store up to 10x the amount of data I mentioned above in normal QR type 2 code. The limitation is not really size if one has a good printer, a good scanner and can move the scanner close to the code label. I'm planning on printing out two of each labels - one will go on the specimen and one on the catalog card [which in the past I've had get separated or destroyed when moving, etc.]. QR code even has different levels of data correction which will be important when the code is adhering to a bumpy part of a specimen and not lying flat. As far as waterproof and very adherent but not absolutely permanent adhesive labels, I've found...but not yet made of the right material where people report good and permanent printing results. The Avery label I mentioned above does NOT have to be purchased in large quantity and packages of 20 pages are easily available - however, while a reasonable size and with near perfect adhesive and waterproof, buyers comments claim poor print results and ink not staying on when the label does.....thus my quest for something better. I'm sure it is out there. N.B. I have many thousands of specimens and the project will take a lot of time....but it will be a labor of love and I plan on building saved modules where only one or two small features will need to be changed and the computer will do consecutive numbers - or if you already have everything cataloged and want to keep those numbers, that is certainly also possible. With a computer QR program of the correct type, one types normal text [quote="Herman van Dennebroek"] and other special characters, etc. - and the computer program generates the code and you print it out on your printer or there are even dedicated printers using linear label tapes. This is not for everyone....but I'm going to try this and re-catalog my entire collection over a few years - best specimens first ;-)
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: Dec 13, 2018 14:23    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

Recommended readings:

Preserving old labels

Right labels

Labels and history

Mineral labels as art ;)

Old labels of minerals

Label history

Label ideas
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RayStraw




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PostPosted: Dec 15, 2018 11:18    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

Years ago I tried excel 2010 to make labels and noticed a wide variation is font size even if Regular 8 was selected.

I found that AngsanaUPC Regular 8 yielded small labels suitable for thumbnails. Does anyone know if this font is still available on more current versions of Microsoft Excel?
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R Saunders




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PostPosted: Dec 16, 2018 05:26    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

RayStraw wrote:
Years ago I tried excel 2010 to make labels and noticed a wide variation is font size even if Regular 8 was selected.

I found that AngsanaUPC Regular 8 yielded small labels suitable for thumbnails. Does anyone know if this font is still available on more current versions of Microsoft Excel?


I have this font on my Windows Vista Excel. Wondered how they made them. What are you using now? You may be able to download the font? I also have Office 2,000 on CD.
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rweaver




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PostPosted: Dec 16, 2018 10:12    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

RayStraw wrote:
Years ago I tried excel 2010 to make labels and noticed a wide variation is font size even if Regular 8 was selected.

I found that AngsanaUPC Regular 8 yielded small labels suitable for thumbnails. Does anyone know if this font is still available on more current versions of Microsoft Excel?



I do not see that font in the pull down menu of either Word or Excel in the full version Office 2016. This was the last one available before they made you buy the online version called Office 365.
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RayStraw




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PostPosted: Dec 16, 2018 10:36    Post subject: Re: Best Labeling Material for Collection Numbers on Specimens  

Thank you for checking.

Ray Straw
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