American Institute of the History of Pharmacy

Actively engaged in preserving the documents of pharmacy's past and developing materials for understanding the future.

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Preserving Pharmacy's Heritage Since 1941

AIHP Opens Online Historical Exhibit

1901 New York Quinine advertismentAIHP is pleased to announce the opening of the online historical exhibit, “The Misappropriation of Native/Indigenous Imagery in Pharmaceutical Advertising.” Composed mostly of images and artifacts from the joint collection of AIHP and the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy, the virtual exhibit documents how drug companies and pharmaceutical manufacturers have misappropriated Native and Indigenous imagery, customs, and beliefs to market their products—particularly during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The online exhibit is part the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Our Shared Future initiative that seeks to educate the campus and the broader community about the University’s complicated and difficult history with the Ho-Chunk Nation, on whose ancestral land the campus is located. The University is sponsoring a variety of educational activities to spark learning and deepen understanding about the Ho-Chunk Nation and other regional Indigenous history and culture. AIHP is located on the UW–Madison campus.

As the exhibit discusses, Indigenous peoples in North America have long used medicinal plants and botanicals to treat illnesses and diseases. White American society adopted some native plants for therapeutic purposes and also came to strongly associate medicinal plants and natural medicines with Indigenous cultures. Drug companies and pharmaceutical manufacturers, in turn, capitalized on these beliefs and co-opted Native and Indigenous imagery and iconography to market drugs and medicines containing plants and natural products.


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National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Becomes AIHP National Sponsor

NABP LogoAIHP is pleased to announce that the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) is the newest member of the Institute’s National Association Sponsorship program. NABP has chosen to support the Institute at the Contributor level with a $2,500 annual contribution.

Dennis Birke, AIHP’s Executive Director, welcomed NABP, stating: “NABP has supported AIHP as a loyal member for more than 30 years. We are very grateful for its increased support as one of our national sponsors.”

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy was founded in 1904 to assist state boards of pharmacy in creating uniform education and licensure standards. NABP’s focus today is promoting patient and prescription-drug safety through examinations that assess pharmacist competency, pharmacist licensure transfer, verification services, and various pharmacy accreditation programs.

NABP Solutions, an NABP subsidiary, provides consulting services focusng on regulatory compliance to pharmacies and to the drug supply chain. NABP’s members consist of the 50 United States state boards of pharmacy, as well as the boards in the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, 10 Canadian provinces, and the Bahamas.

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Zada, Gloria, and the Sisters: Excerpts from A Conversation with Dr. Metta Lou Henderson

This post is from Points, the joint blog of AIHP and the Alcohol and Drugs History Society. Points publishes original reflections about the history of drugs, medicines, alcohol, pharmacy, and their allied fields.

1898 Mercy Hospital Chicago Sister Pharmacist

During March 2021, we celebrate Women’s History Month and recognize the significant contributions of women in history and society. I think it’s also a great time to learn more about the outstanding women who’ve played key leadership roles in pharmacy and health care. On my podcast MelisRxScripts, I strive to interview women leaders of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

I recently talked with Metta Lou Henderson, PhD, a research pioneer in the history of women in pharmacy. Women’s History Month is the perfect opportunity to share some highlights from our chat. In 2009, Metta Lou donated the Metta Lou Henderson Women in Pharmacy Collection to the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy, and in 2015 she was elected the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) honorary president for her lifelong commitment as a scholar and advocate for the profession of pharmacy. Metta Lou also is the author of American Women Pharmacists: Contributions to the Profession.

Read the rest of this post by AIHP Board Member Melissa Murer Corrigan on Points.

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Call for Nominations for the 2021 George Urdang Medal

The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy is now accepting nominations for the 2021 George Urdang Medal. The deadline for receipt of nominations is June 1, 2021.

The George Urdang Medal recognizes the lifetime achievements of a person who, over a sustained period, has made important scholarly contributions to the field of the history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals. The George Urdang Medal is awarded without regard to citizenship or nationality.

The award honors Professor George Urdang (1882-1960), a pioneering historian of pharmacy in Germany and the United States, the founding Director of AIHP, and the founder of the first American graduate program in the history of pharmacy.

A panel of historians will evaluate nominations on the basis of the nature and significance of the nominee’s scholarly contributions to the field of the history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals and the span of time over which those contributions were made. Contributions to the field may include (without limitation) scholarly publications, exceptional service to professional organizations, dedicated work for scholarly or popular publications, outstanding contributions to education, and/or significant achievements in the collection and preservation of historical sources or collections.

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Pharmacy in History Featured in JSTOR & Schomburg Center Open Library

AIHP Logo for FacebookAIHP is pleased to announce that four articles from Pharmacy in History have been included in the JSTOR & Schomburg Center Open Library—an open-access companion guide to the Schomburg Center's Black Liberation Reading List. Librarians and archivists at the New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture curated the Black Liberation Reading List during the summer of 2020. The Schomburg Center explained that the list features 95 "essential" books that "we and the public turn to regularly as activists, students, archivists, and curators" to foster "a greater understanding of the Black experience."

To complement the Black Liberation Reading List, JSTOR has compiled the JSTOR and Schomburg Center Open Library, a free and unrestricted resource of articles that help readers better contextualize and understand the 95 titles on the Black Liberation Reading List.

Pharmacy in History is excited to make articles by AIHP member Metta Lou Henderson, AIHP member Richard Del Rio, AIHP Assistant Director Greg Bond, and Suzanne Poirier available for inclusion in the JSTOR and Schomburg Center Open Library. AIHP's partnership with JSTOR will help "meet the need for content related to racism, anti-racism, and Black voices."

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2021 Glenn Sonnedecker Prize Competition

AIHP Logo for FacebookAIHP is pleased to announce the 2021 AIHP Glenn Sonnedecker Prize competition. Each year, the Sonnedecker Prize recognizes the author(s) of the best unpublished manuscript, on a topic within the field of the history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals.

The Prize is aimed at graduate students and Early Career Scholars (ECRs). AIHP defines ECRs as holders of tenure-track positions who received the PhD within the previous three years or members of the academic precariat in limited term positions who received the PhD within the previous six years.

Co-authored papers are eligible for the Sonnedecker Prize competition—provided that all listed authors meet the necessary Early Career Researcher criteria listed below.

The recipient of the AIHP Glenn Sonnedecker Prize will also be awarded a $1,000 cash prize, and her/his manuscript will be published in AIHP’s journal History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals upon, and subject to, successful completion of peer- and editorial-review processes.

Instructions for Submissions

The deadline for submission of manuscripts for the 2021 competition is June 1, 2021. To be considered for the 2021 Sonnedecker Prize, please submit a copy of the unpublished manuscript in Microsoft Word format. Email the manuscript to using the subject heading “Sonnedecker Prize Submission” for the message. Articles should be 8,000-10,000 words, and authors should consult the HoPP Author Guidelines when preparing submissions. Papers in languages other than English should be accompanied by a translation.

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AIHP Thanks National Association Sponsors

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AIHP Wants to Document Your COVID-19 Stories and Experiences

AIHP COVID-19 ProjectThe American Institute of the History of Pharmacy is documenting and preserving pharmacy stories and experiences during the COVID-19 global pandemic for the benefit of future historians and scholars. We seek to record the effects of this public health emergency on all types of pharmacy experiences. We invite you to share your pharmacy stories, photos, videos, artifacts, and other documentation of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

You can participate in the AIHP COVID-19 Pandemic Pharmacy Historical Documentation Project either (1) by immediately sharing your thoughts/experiences and/or submitting digital materials or (2) by signifying your to intention to submit materials in the future. Please comply with all applicable local or state stay-at-home orders while self-documenting.

Please click the link below to learn more about participating in the AIHP COVID-19 Pandemic Pharmacy Historical Documentation Project.

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Join AIHP and Subscribe to History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals

  • Individual Subscription For $80/year ($100/foreign)

  • Institutional/Corporate subscription For $160/year ($180/foreign)

  • Pharmacy Education Fund (Schools or College of Pharmacy) For $330/year

Access the Pharmacy in History JSTOR Archive
All past issues of Pharmacy in History have been digitized and are text-searchable at JSTOR.

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Calendar of Events

Upcoming events of interest to historians of pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, medicines, science, and related fields. (Event information current when posted. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, please double-check the status of all events): 

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