Natural history museums around the world hold millions of animal and plant specimens that are potentially amenable to genetic analyses. With more and more populations and species becoming extinct, the importance of these specimens for phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses is rapidly increasing. However, as most DNA extraction methods damage the specimens, nondestructive extraction methods are useful to balance the demands of molecular biologists, morphologists, and museum curators. Here, I describe a method for nondestructive DNA extraction from bony specimens (i.e., bones and teeth). In this method, the specimens are soaked in extraction buffer, and DNA is then purified from the soaking solution using adsorption to silica. The method reliably yields mitochondrial and often also nuclear DNA. The method has been adapted to DNA extraction from other types of specimens such as arthropods.