AIHP Collections

The entrance to the Kremers Reference Files. On the left is a portrait of longtime UW Pharmacy School Director Edward Kremers. On the right past the bookshelves is an oversize lighted mortar and pestle

From its founding in 1941, the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy has prioritized the collection and preservation of historical material related to the history of pharmacy. Over the years, AIHP has acquired, maintained, and made available to researchers numerous important pharmaco-historical collections. AIHP still actively seeks donations of collections related to the history of pharmacy. Please see our donations page for more information about donating historical collections, artifacts, books, or other material to AIHP.

Researchers interested in accessing  AIHP collections (except for the AIHP Collections at the Wisconsin Historical Society) should email AIHP ( to arrange a time to consult the materials. Researchers interested in reviewing the AIHP History of Pharmacy Archives Collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society, should directly contact the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

AIHP’s historical and archival collections include:

  • The Kremers Reference Files (KRF) is AIHP’s primary on-site research collection. The KRF collection began as the correspondence, research notes, and personal collection of UW Professor Edward Kremers for his unpublished Encyclopedia of Pharmacy and other projects. The collection has been maintained and expanded by subsequent AIHP directors, including George Urdang, Glenn Sonnedecker, John Parascandola, Greg Higby, and Lucas Richert. The KRF contains biographical material and other historical records, including: letters, organizational records, prescriptions, pictures, photographs, pamphlets, circulars, advertising, artifacts, ephemera, and other similar material.
  • The Drug Topics Photograph Collection consists of the photograph morgue of Drug Topics magazine and contains more than 17,000 photographs documenting the profession of pharmacy from about 1945 to 1970.
  • The Cowen Reference Files consists of the research material gathered from 1955 to 2006 by pioneering historian of pharmacy Professor David Cowen of Rutgers University. The Cowen Reference Files contains both primary and secondary sources related to Professor Cowen’s long career researching and writing about the history of pharmacy.
  • The Metta Lou Henderson Women in Pharmacy Collection consists of the research material gathered by Dr. Metta Lou Henderson for her groundbreaking research about the history of women in pharmacy.
  • The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy / American Institute of the History of Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Trade Catalog Collection includes more than 450 pharmaceutical and pharmacy-related trade catalogs published between 1829 and the 2000s.
  • The AIHP Digital Library (in progress with more digital items frequently being added).

To arrange a visit to see materials in the above collections, please email

The AIHP History of Pharmacy Archives Collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society contains the bulk of the manuscript and archival records collected over the years by AIHP. Available collections include the personal papers of prominent individuals like Robert P. Fischelis and Rufus Ashley Lyman and organizational records, including the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the United States Pharmacopeial Convention. See the full list of available collections.

The AIHP History of Pharmacy Archives Collection is not housed at the AIHP offices in Rennebohm Hall at the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy. The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy Archives Collection is housed at and maintained by the Archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Researchers who wish to consult these materials must visit the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives (816 State Street) and make the necessary arrangements with the WHS Archives staff.

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

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

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.

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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):

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.

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