RE: haunted VDB
I'm wondering if that plastic sleeve the print was stored in was something you'd used before... There are plastics that simply destroy photographs. I remember many years ago my mother put all her family photographs in an album with pages in plastic sleeves, for her grandchildren... by the time we actually inherited it, just a few years later, the degradation of the prints was striking -- tho these were color photos and the chemistry is obviously different. However, I had some of the same photographs, stored in paper or under glass, so I could measure how much hers had faded in that relatively brief time. (If I'd been trying to fade them I couldn't have done better.)
As for as selenium toner is concerned, if you can get your hands on some selenium, that is, the plain chemical itself, you can mix up a selenium toner without the fixer. I don't remember where I got my selenium (about 28 years ago), tho of course in those days sale of chemicals was much more loosey goosey than today... it was also expensive -- but ounce for ounce of the working solution not all that terrible.. and MUCH more flexible than KRS. (I never did understand why they put it in fixer-- tho that's not this e-mail.)
The old photo books or formularies should have the formula for selenium toner, or I could probably dig up that old one. However, I'm wondering what's wrong with just plain gold toner?? (Is this a good or bad time to buy gold chloride ? -- I don't follow that nowadays, since gum bi just shrugs off gold. But if memory serves, when the market is down, so is gold? Whichever, per print toned it's not so horrendous. (You only tone the successes.) Also, as I recall (tho I haven't used it lately) the color is lovely.
Not to mention -- have you noticed galleries stressing the "gold" in "gold-toned prints"? (Sounds so much better than "selenium toned.")