American Institute of the History of Pharmacy

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

Become A Member Today
Preserving Pharmacy's Heritage Since 1941

Professor Paula De Vos Receives 2022 Edward Kremers Award

AIHP is pleased to announce that the 2022 Edward Kremers Award has been awarded to Paula S. De Vos, Ph.D. for her book, Compound Remedies: Galenic Pharmacy from the Ancient Mediterranean to New Spain (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020).

AIHP awards the Edward Kremers Award biennially to recognize the author(s) of a book, or a series of related articles, published within the past five years, in the field of the history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals, that exhibits high standards of scholarship, superior quality, and distinguished merit. The Edward Kremers Award honors Professor Edward Kremers (1865-1941), a pioneer of pharmacy education in the United States, distinguished historian of pharmacy, and one of AIHP’s founders.

Dr. De Vos is a Professor of History at the San Diego State University. She is a leading historian of pharmacy in colonial Spanish America. A panel of four historians of pharmacy, led by AIHP’s Historical Director, Lucas Richert, PhD, selected Dr. DeVos’ book from seven nomination received for this year’s Kremers Award.


Read More

AIHP Issues Three Certificates of Commendation

AIHP is pleased to announce that it has awarded Certificates of Commendation to two individuals and one organization for their notable contributions to the history of pharmacy.

The Institute’s Certificate of Commendation program recognizes projects and contributions that have either advanced knowledge or understanding of the history of pharmacy or that have used the history of pharmacy to educate, inform, entertain, or to address or advance understanding of contemporary issues.

The 2022 Certificate of Commendation honorees are:

  • Carl K. Buckner, PhD, for his extensive collection of published writings on the history of pharmacy in Oklahoma;
  • Stephen M. Hall, MA, for his work to expand the Coit Museum of Pharmacy & Health Sciences at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy; and
  • The Pharmaceutical Heritage Centre, in Punjab, India, for its work to preserve and showcase the history of pharmaceuticals and medicines in India.

Read More

New Issue of History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals Just Published With New Editorial Structure

The latest issue of AIHP’s academic journal, History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals (HoPP), has just been published, and is currently being mailed to Institute members. Members will be able to access the digital version of the issue (No. 64.1) on the HoPP website shortly.

The issue contains four lead articles, four book reviews, and other features. One of the lead articles, entitled “Picturing the Politics of Pharmaceutics:  The Pharmacists, the Physicians, and the Unfinished Business of Prescribing-Dispensing Separation in Modern Japan, 1868-1937,” by Isaac C.K. Tan, won the AIHP Glenn Sonnedecker Prize in 2021.

This issue is the first published under HoPP’s new editorial structure. Going forward, editorial control of the journal will be held by three Editors:

  • Lucas Richert, AIHP’s Historical Director and the George Urdang Chair in the History of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy;
  • Paula De Vos, Professor of History at San Diego State University; and
  • Tanja Pommerening, Director of the Institute of the History of Pharmacy at the University of Marburg, Germany.

Read More


Michael Harris Receives AIHP Robert P. Fischelis Award

The Institute’s Board of Directors has awarded the 2022 AIHP Robert P. Fischelis Award to longtime AIHP member Michael Harris for his extraordinary contributions to the Institute and the field of pharmacy history.

The AIHP Robert P. Fischelis Award is conferred annually by AIHP’s Board of Directors to a person or organization that has had an important impact on the field of the history of pharmacy and on the well-being of the Institute. The Board’s selection is made from nominations received from Institute members. The award is given in honor of the late Robert P. Fischelis, a gifted leader of the pharmacy profession and a generous benefactor of the Institute.

Mr. Harris was selected this year’s award in recognition of his “lifetime of work to preserve and care for pharmacy’s physical culture,” according to AIHP Executive Director Dennis Birke. For 26 years, Mr. Harris was the Senior Museum Specialist for pharmacy and public health at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. In that role, he was a zealous collector of objects and materials that illustrated pharmacy care in the U.S., including pharmacy’s relationship with public health. Mr. Harris is credited with adding over 15,000 pharmacy artifacts to the museum’s collections.

Read More

AIHP Marks 50th Anniversary of Pharmacy Stamp With "First Day Cover" Collection

For many interested in the history of pharmacy, November 10, 1972, stands out as the momentous day the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp honoring the pharmacy profession. AIHP is marking the 50th anniversary of the stamp’s issuance by posting on its website a collection of pharmacy stamp “first day covers,” courtesy of pharmacist (and first day cover collector) Daniel Shifrin. Click this link to access Mr. Shifrin’s first day cover collection.

In stamp collecting parlance, a “first day cover” (FDC) refers to a postal card or envelope bearing a stamp postmarked on the day of the stamp’s issuance. Sometimes the postal card or envelope used for the first day cover may contain a printed design or inscription – called a “cachet” – related in some way to the new stamp. These cachets may be designed and produced by specialized design firms for organizations, businesses, or individuals with a particular interest in the commemorative stamp. Such “cacheted FDCs” are highly collectible.

Mr. Shifrin credits the late George Griffenhagen – a legendary historian of pharmacy and longtime AIHP member – with sparking his interest in philately (stamp collecting) and his particular interest in collecting pharmacy stamp FDCs. Indeed, Mr. Shifrin advises that Mr. Griffenhagen drafted the text describing each of the FDCs in the posted collection.


Read More

From the Collections: Exploring the Drug Topics Photograph Collection

The AIHP Drug Topics Photograph Collection comprises nearly 20,000 black and white photos commissioned by Drug Topics for use in the magazine from the 1940s to the early 1970s. The magazine donated their photo archive to AIHP in 1974. The collection is housed in over 1,000 folders spanning 16 filing cabinets in the Kremers Reference Files. The images in the collection tell the story of the retail drug trade in the decades after World War II; many of the photos in the collection are candid shots of community pharmacy interiors showing customers and staff interacting within different departments of the stores.

Drug Topics magazine began publication in 1883 as a drug trade house organ of McKesson and & Robbins. Early issues state on the masthead that the magazine was “A bi-weekly journal of current drug news and prices.” By 1933, they were billing themselves as a “national magazine of the drug trade” and were being published by Topics Publishing Company, which also put out Wholesale Druggist and Drug Trade News. While some advertising promoted new drugs on the market to inform the physician, many ads continued to reach out to the retail druggist with new cosmetic and health preparations, and new aids for displaying merchandise.

Currently, AIHP staff are working with the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center (UWDCC) to make a portion of this collection available online. AIHP is selecting images and creating the metadata, and UWDCC will digitize the images and make them available on their free digital content platform. Since it’s founding in 2000, UWDCC has digitized over two million items from cultural heritage collections across the university campus and the state. This collaboration is creating extraordinary access to this unique documentation of the American retail drug trade in the mid 20th century.

Read More
Advancing knowledge and understanding of the history of pharmacy and medicines.

AIHP Thanks National Association Sponsors

Read More

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.

Read More

Join AIHP and Subscribe to History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals

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

Note: Academic libraries seeking subscriptions to History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals should directly contact the University of Wisconsin Press.

Read More

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): 

21-28 August 2022: 23rd International Congress of Historical Sciences, Poznan, Poland.

7-10 September 2022: 45th International Congress for the History of Pharmacy, Milan, Italy.

15-18 September 2022: 48th Congress of the International Society for the History of Medicine, Iasi, Romania.

18-22 September 2022: 80th FIP (International Pharmaceutical Federation) World Congress, Seville, Spain.

15-18 October 2022: American College of Clinical Pharmacy Global Conference on Clinical Pharmacy, San Francisco, California.

10 November 2022: AIHP Annual Members Meeting, Online.


Read More