Drug Topics Photographs

Drug Topics Photographs Collection

Donated  by Drug Topics magazine to the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy in 1974, the Drug Topics photograph collection contains approximately 17,200 photographs taken or commissioned by the Drug Topics staff between 1945 and 1970. These photographs mostly document the American retail druggist and corner drugstore in the post-World War Two era, as well as druggists’ interrelations with their community, with the profession at large, and with business and commerce. Many photographs have information about the image or about their publication use on the reverse side. The collection also contains numerous non-pharmacy related illustrations that were received in the offices of Drug Topics. Bound volumes of Drug Topics magazine in the University of Wisconsin–Madison library system often include additional information about published photographs. Fewer than 1-2% of the photographs were produced before 1945 or document activities outside of the United States.

The photographs are arranged alphabetically according to a topical classification scheme originally devised by Drug Topics staff for editorial use, and the scheme includes many terms and topics specific to pharmacy practice and the pharmaceutical industry or to the specific historical era. Some frequently published topics have multiple folders further arranged chronologically by year.

Read the Drug Topics Photographs Collection Folder-Level Inventory with the complete Topical Classification Scheme created by Drug Topics staff. Please note that this list of terms was created many years ago and does not reflect current efforts to employ more appropriate, culturally sensitive language.

To visit the Drug Topics Photograph Collection or for reference assistance please email: research@aihp.org

Sample Images from the Drug Topics Photograph Collection

Manager handing out lollipops at Anderson Drug Store in Tracy, California. (Drug Topics Photograph Collection – Fountains, Soda, 1950)

Pharmacist Ben Armstrong helping customer at Dox Pharmacy in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (Drug Topics Photograph Collection – Minorities)

Cook’s Prescription Shop in Orlando, Florida. (Drug Topics Photograph Collection – Drive-in Drug Stores, 1948-1959)

Rights Information

The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy does not hold the copyright to photographs in the Drug Topics Photograph Collection. Many photographs contain copyright notices from the original photographer. The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy can make digital reproductions of images from the Drug Topics Collection for the personal and educational use of researchers and patrons. The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy can not provide further permission to reproduce, redistribute, or republish photographs in the Drug Topics Photograph Collection. Copyright assessment is the responsibility of researchers who make use of the Collection. Researchers must determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when republishing or reproducing material from the Drug Topics Photograph Collection.

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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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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):

May 28-31, 2024: Kremers Seminar in the History of Pharmacy webinars.
June 27-30, 2024: ADHS Biennial Conference, Buffalo, NY.
July 7-11, 2024: International Social Pharmacy Workshop, Banff, Canada.
September 4-7, 2024: 46th International Congress for the History of Pharmacy, Belgrade Serbia.
January 3-6, 2025: Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, New York City, NY.

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