History of the Urdang Medal: Since 2021, the George Urdang Medal has been awarded biennially to recognize 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. Prior to 2021, the George Urdang Medal was awarded to recognize a scholarly publication, or series of publications, in the field of the history of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals that exhibited superior quality and distinctive significance.
2021 – Olivier Lafont, France
Olivier Lafont, a pharmacist, was a Professor of Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of Rouen (France) until 2019. He has published eight books, more than 90 historical articles, and about 100 scientific papers in international peer-reviewed journals, all in the area of the history of science and pharmacy. He is perhaps best known for his publications on medicinal botanicals in the 17th and 18th centuries, the history of apothecaries, and research on majolica pharmacy jars. His book,Dictionary of the History of Pharmacy – from the Origins to the Late Nineteenth Century(2003) has become a standard reference in France.
Professor Lafont has also been active in pharmacy history organizations, both in France as President of the Society for the History of Pharmacy (2004-2021), and globally as the President of the International Society for the History of Pharmacy (2006-2011) as well as Vice President of the International Academy of the History of Pharmacy (2001-2009). He was awarded the Schelenz-Plakette in 2011.
The letter informing Professor Lafont of his selection as the George Urdang Medal recipient observed that “your long and productive career highlights and mirrors the humanistic aspirations for pharmacy history put forward 80 years ago by George Urdang, making you a most worthy recipient of the George Urdang Medal.”
2019 – Gregory Higby, United States
Higby was nominated for his publications that have contributed to a deeper and richer understanding of the history of American pharmacy, particularly its evolution during the Nineteenth Century. The cited works include his book (co-authored with Lee Anderson) The Spirit of Voluntarism: A Legacy of Commitment and Contribution – The United States Pharmacopeia 1820 -1995, the chapter he authored on the “Evolution of Pharmacy” in Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy, and his 1995 article “Proctor as Pharmaceutical Icon” in Pharmacy in History. His nomination was also based on his work to promote high-quality pharmaco-historical writing in his role as the editor of AIHP’s journal Pharmacy in History.
In selecting Higby to receive the George Urdang Medal, the panel of judges concluded that his pharmaco-historical writings exhibit the superior quality and distinctive significance that the Medal is intended to promote and recognize. The judges cited the breadth and depth of his writings that trace the development of American pharmacy and his ability to provide (in the words of one judge) “insight to pharmacy’s evolution in and of itself and as part of human history generally.”
2017 – François Ledermann, Switzerland
Over a long career, he has contributed to the literature of the history of pharmacy. His work on the great Alexander Tschirch, including the articles “‘Es ist die Marthe-Steele, die meiner Seele vermaehtl ist,’Die Briefer von Alexander Tschirch an Martha Benoulli, 1896-1939” and “Der Professor und der Reichsapothekerführer; Zu einem Streit zwischen Alexander Tschirch (1856-1939) und Albert Schmierer (1899-1974),” has demonstrated a high level of historical knowledge and sophistication.
2013 – Christoph Friedrich, Germany
For his various contributions to the literature of our field through his many biographical writings and his assistance in the completion of the second volume of Geschichte der Pharmazie.
2012- Efraim Lev, Israel
For: Practical Materia Medica of the Medieval Eastern Mediterranean According to the Cairo Genizah
2011 – Stuart Anderson, Great Britain
The nomination papers for the Urdang Medal referred to a number of representative publications, including “From ‘Bespoke’ to ‘Off-the-Peg;’ Community Pharmacists and the Retailing of Medicines in Great Britain 1900 to 1970,” “Community Pharmacy in Great Britain: Mediation at the Boundary Between Professional and Lay care 1920 to 1995,” and “Pharmacy, Trade, Empire: Medicines and the English East India Company 1600 to 1858,” as well as the book Making Medicines: A Brief History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals.
2009 – Wolf-Dieter Müller-Jahncke, Germany
For his broad contribution to the literature of our field including his recent book, Giftmischer, Exzentriker, Biedermänner: Das Bild des Apothekers in Prosa und Lyrik.
2007 – Jole Schackelford, USA
For: A Philosophical Path for Paracelsian Medicine. The Ideas, Intellectual Context, and Influence of Petrus Severinus (1540/2-1602)I.
2005 – Sabine Knoll Schutze, Germany
For: Friedrich Hoffmann and the Pharmaceutische Rundschau: A Contribution to the History of American Pharmacy.
2001 – François Chast, France
The AIHP Awards Committee selected Chast for his book, Histoire contemporaire des medicaments. Chast received special praise from the committee for his ability to discuss well the vast subject of the development of modern drugs.
1999 – Ramon Jordi González, Spain
For: Aportacío a la Historòria de la Farmàcia Catalana.
1997 – Frank Leimkugel, Germany
For: Weje judischer Apotheker.
1996 – Mary Schaeffer Conroy, USA
For: In Health and in Sickness: Pharmacy, Pharmacists, and the Pharmaceutical Industry in Late Imperial, Early Soviet Russia.
1995 – Saul Jarcho, USA
The AIHP Awards Committee characterized his book, Quinine’s Predecessor: Francesco Torti and the Early History of Cinchona as a “model of precision and scholarship.”
1994 – John Parascandola, USA
Dr. Parascandola was selected for his book, The Development of American Pharmacology: John J. Abel and the Shaping of a Discipline. The AIHP Awards Committee cited the book for its “originality and scholarly competence in pharmaco-historical writing” adding that the “narrative text is well organized, interpretive, lucid, and is the first systematic study of this significant segment of the history of pharmaceutical sciences.”
1992 – Wojciech Roeske, Poland
Roeske was chosen for his Bibliography of Polish Pharmaceutical Historiography, 1817-1971, a comprehensive work including publications pertaining to the development of the pharmaceutical sciences and pharmaceutical education in Poland.
1989 – William H. Helfand, USA
The Committee on Awards cited his prolific investigations into the history of pharmacy and art, which are a profound contribution to our awareness of the larger cultural context of pharmacy. Specifically mentioned in the original nomination are two of Helfand’s works on pharmacy in political prints: Medicine and Pharmacy in American Political Prints and “Medicine and Pharmacy in British Political Prints: The Example of Lord Sidmouth.”
1988 – Dietlinde Goltz, West Germany
Dr. Goltz was selected for her monographs, Mittelalteriche Pharmazie und Medizin and Studien zur Geschichte der Mineralnamen in Pharmazie, Chemie und Medizin.
1987 – John Riddle, USA
Professor John M. Riddle of North Carolina State University has been named the 1987 recipient of the Urdang Medal. Riddle was chosen for his landmark study, Dioscorides on Pharmacy and Medicine, which one nominator characterized as reflecting “impeccable scholarship, linguistic versatility, highly knowledgeable and intelligent interpretation, and brilliant writing.”
1986 – Kurt Ganzinger, Austria
The Committee selected and recommends Dr. Kurt Ganzinger, of Vienna, for his extensive research on the development of pharmacy in Austria. That research, presented in more than one hundred publications, including Zur Geschichte der Österreichischen Pharmakopoen, constitutes a major addition to our knowledge of the development of pharmacopoeias and other pharmaceutical literature.
1985 – Armin Wankmüller, West Germany
The evaluating committee judged the writings of Dr. Wankmüller on the history of pharmacy in Württemberg to be exemplary of the best traditions of the art of the local historian. A substantial history of the pharmacists’ society of Württemberg was especially lauded by the Committee, together with a group of inter-related articles about pharmacy and pharmacists in the same region.
1983 – Guillermo Folch Jou, Spain
The Committee on Awards cited particularly Professor Folch’s book, Historia de la Farmacia, among a long series of monographs and articles contributing to the history of pharmacy on the Iberian peninsula.
1981 – Pierre Julien, France
The honor that comes to him today recognized a different dimension of his work. It recognizes his scholarly eminence as an historian. The testimony lies in about 150 articles and more than a thousand notes and reviews that he has published. In arriving at their decision, the evaluation committee considered specifically a series of ten article by Julien about the history of pharmacy in France between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.
1980 – Rudolf Schmitz, West Germany
AIHP’s Committee on Awards specifically cited as exemplary of his contributions to scholarship, Professor Schmitz’s book on Die deutschen Pharmazeutisch-Chemischen Hochschulinstitute; Ihre Enstehung und Entwicklung in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart and the four chapters that he contributed to Die Naturwissenschafen an der Phillips-Universität Marburg, 1527-1977, a work which he also edited. Other books and dozens of articles of comparable quality from the prolific pen of Professor Schmitz also testify to his creative contributions to the printed records of pharmacy’s history.
1979 – John K. Crellin, USA
Prof. Crellin was recognized for his scholarly publications on the history of pharmaceutical artifcats, of which an outstanding example is his Catalog of Medical Ceramics in the Wellcome Institute of the History of Medicine: Vol. I, English and Dutch.
1978 – Wolfgang-Hagen Hein, West Germany
Prof. Hein was honored for a series of well-documented books and other publications on the iconography of pharmacy.
1977 – David L. Cowen, USA
The award was granted to Professor Cowen on the basis of his publications on the history of British and American pharmaceutical literature.
1976 – Glenn Sonnedecker, USA
In recognition of his scholarly writings on pharmaceutical education and industry in the 19th-century U.S., giving an original evaluation of origin, trends, and aims. Also for his outstanding participation in the education process of teaching the history of pharmacy as a discipline, and in revising the third and fourth editions of Kremers-Urdang History of Pharmacy, adding new dimensions, ideas, and original investigations.
1975 – Leo Jules Vandewiele, Belgium
The award was made on the basis of Dr. Vandewiele’s scholarly investigations of medieval historical material bearing on the history of the Low Countries, particularly his study of a Dutch version of the Circa Instans of Platearius.
1974 – Alfons Lutz, Switzerland
Alfons Lutz has made a major contribution to our understanding of the development of pre-pharmacopeial literature in Western Europe through his painstaking investigation of medieval, and especially Salernitan, formularies. Cited also for excellence were Lutz’s comparative studies of the Nuovo Receptario (1499) and the Dispensatorium of Valerius Cordus (1546).
1973 – Wolfgang Schneider, West Germany
Geschichte der pharmazeutischen Chemie was the first book of its kind in conception and subject matter, because it fills a most significant place in the history of science.
1968 – Leslie G. Matthews, Great Britain
The Institute has particularly commended him for his book, History of Pharmacy in Britain. In addition to this work, Matthews has published a number of papers relating to the history of pharmacy, and his book, The Royal Apothecaries, was published to coincide with the 350th anniversary of the Society of Apothecariesn of London.
1964– Antonio E. Vitolo, Italy
For Gli Ordini sopra Gli Speziali della Citta di Lucca del 1589 a del 1732 and others in his series on the history of pharmaceutical law in Italy.
1962 – Georg Edmund Dann, West Germany
Martin Heinrich Klaproth (1743-18170: Ein Deutscher Apotheker und Chemiker Sein We guns seine Leistung
1961 – Rafael Roldan y Guerrero, Spain
Dr. Roldan, a military pharmacist and historian of pharmacy, received the Medal particularly for his Diccionaria Biográfico y Bibliografico, de Autores Farmacéuticos Españoles, desde el Siglo VIII hasta 1944, a reference work of five volumes.
1960 – Otto Zekert, Austria
The evaluation committee cited particularly his volume of biographical essays, Berühmte Apotheker and his full-length biography of one of the greatest pharmacists, titled Carl Wilhelm Scheele: Sein Leben und seine Werke.
1958 – Maurice Bouvet, France
Dr. Bouvet was cited particularly for his definitive book on the development of Pharmacy in France (Histoire de la Pharmacie en France des Origines à Nos Jours), as well as his monographic research on such topics as the French health professions during the American Revolution and the history of hospital pharmacy (Le Service de Santé Français pendant la Guerre d’Indépendence des Etats-Unis, 1777-1782 and La Pharmacie Hospitalière à Paris de 1789 à 1815)
1957 – Dirk Arnold Wittop-Koning, Netherlands
Dr. Wittop-Koning received our international award particularly for his books de Handel in Geneesmiddelen te Amsterdam tot Omstreeks 1637; Nederlandse Vizjels; Delftse Apothekerspotten; Nederlandse Gewichten Stensels, Ijkwezen, Vormen, Makers en Merken, as well as numerous papers of high quality.
1955 – Rafael Folch Andreu, Spain
For: Elementos de Historia de la Farmacia; El Tabaco en la Historia y en Actualidad; “El Maná en la Historia” (series of papers); “Las Farmacopeas Portuguesas” and “Origénes de la Bibliografia Oficial y en especial de la Espanola”
1954 – Eugéne-Humbert Guitard, France
For: Deux Siècles de presse au service de la pharmacie; Manuel d’histoire de la literature pharmaceutique et bibliographie pharmaceutique; and Le Prestigieux passé des eaux minerales
1953 – Joseph Anton Häflinger, Switzerland
For: Pharmazeutische Altertumskunde und die Schweizerische Sammlung für Historiches Apothekenwesen an der Universität Basel.
The 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
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
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):
July 22-26, 2023: Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Aurora, CO.
August 30-September 2, 2023: Biennial Meeting of the European Association for the History of Medicine and Health, Oslo, Norway.
November 11-14, 2023: Annual Meeting of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, Dallas, TX.
December 3-7, 2023: Midyear Clinical Meeting of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Anaheim, CA.
January 4-7, 2024: Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, San Francisco, CA.
September 4-7, 2024: 46th International Congress for the History of Pharmacy, Belgrade Serbia.