A sample was selected from the IRAS Point Source Catalogue based on the following selection criteria: very red (“cold”) IRAS-colours: roughly F25/F12 > 2.5 and F60/F25 < 1.2; and low IR-variability: VAR < 30. These non-variable IR-sources may be stars that have evolved beyond the AGB (Asymptotic Giant Branch); a large fraction (40%) is associated with known planetary nebulae (Van der Veen and Habing, 1987, Astron. Astrophys., in press). To determine the nature of the other 60% additional observations were made mainly in the infrared: 1–13 μm, during 4 observing runs: ESO (La Silla, Chile) in July 1986 and June 1987; UKIRT (Hawaii) in August 1986 and June 1987. A total number of 58 sources was observed. A summary of the observations: -IR broad band photometry at 1.2, 1.6, 2.2, 3.8 and 4,6 μm for all 58 sources. -IR broad band photometry at 8.4, 9.7 and 12.8 μm for 19 sources. -IR small band photometry for 4 sources in the ranges 2–2.5 μm and 3–3.5 μm. -IR spectroscopy for 10 sources in the ranges 2–2.5 μm and 3–3.5 μm, -V, R, I observations (0.55, 0.7 and 0.9 μm) for 5 sources associated with a star of visual magnitude 8–9. These observations were carried out by D. de Winter (Amsterdam) with the 0.5-m ESO telescope at La Silla (Chile). -Walraven photometry (0.32, 0.36, 0.38, 0.43 and 0.54 μm) for 21 stars brighter than V = 15 and within 10“ from the IRAS position. These observations were carried out by M. van Haarlem (Leiden) with the 0.9-m Dutch telescope at La Silla (Chile).