archival inks for inkjet printers

François Génier FGENIER at MUS-NATURE.CA
Tue Aug 8 09:23:07 CDT 2000

Two years ago I seriously questioned the archival quality of toner used by photocopier and laser printers.  Occasionally this toner will peel off or be dissolved by organic solvents. As a result I started to investigate ink jet printing. At that time inkjet with high resolution (1200 dpi) became available and affordable. I came across Lexmark printer (model 5000 and higher) which were using "Waterproof" ink. I investigated and discovered that once dry the ink was not soluble in any of the commonly used chemicals in entomology (ethanol, ethyl acetate, ammonia, xylene, acetone). Furthermore, it was not affected by long exposure to light (over two years). The drying time seems to depend on the paper. The ink is usually dry enough after two or three hours. However, before I use the labels in alcohol I let it dry for two or three days. For insect labels I use a 3.5 or 4.0 pts font and get very good results. The ink is "Lexmark high resolution printing black standard print cartridge, #12A1970" and it can be used in certain models of Lexmark, Samsung and Kodak printers. I am sure that other companies are now producing archival quality ink.


François Génier
Collection Manager, Insects
Canadian Museum of Nature
PO Box 3443, Stn D
Ottawa, Ontario  K1P 6P4

FGenier at
tel: (613) 364-4068
fax: (613) 364-4027

Visit the CMN @:

>>> Alexander Krings <akrings at UNITY.NCSU.EDU> 08/07/00 05:13PM >>>
Hello all,

I am trying to find out if archival inks exist for standard inkjet computer printers now on the market (e.g., Hewlett Packard, Compaq, etc.)?  In modernizing our herbarium, we would eventually like to generate specimen labels from our database and are exploring our options.  Hewlett-Packard claims their black inks are archival, but have any independent studies been published?

Thank you in advance for any help or guidance anyone could offer.

Alexander Krings
Curator and Plant Taxonomist
Herbarium (NCSC), Department of Botany
Campus Box 7612
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7612

alexander_krings at 
919.515.3436 (fax)


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