New Collections Posted on AIHP’s Digital Library

The Institute invites members to visit our growing AIHP Digital Library, hosted on Omeka, a web publishing platform. Over the past year, Institute staff have begun to digitize select AIHP collections to make them more accessible to members and researchers, as part of a strategic initiative to increase overall access to collections housed at AIHP’s offices.

With the recent addition of four new collections, the Institute’s digital library now offers seven collections and two exhibits comprising over 500 items. Digitization efforts are being spearheaded by AIHP Collections Assistants Susie Seefelt Lesieutre and Genevieve Lundberg.

Recent additions to the digital library include: the Frank Pinchak posters; Parke, Davis & Company ink blotters; a collection of drug ads for anti-anxiety medications; and AIHP’s recently opened online exhibit entitled “Contested Cannabis: A History of Marijuana in Wisconsin and the Wider World.”

Pinchak Posters Publicity Social Card

The Pinchak Poster Collection is particularly notable. Frank Pinchak was a practicing pharmacist in Paterson, NJ. In 1954, he founded the Professional Advancement Plan, a program that produced “ethical” poster displays on health education topics. Retail pharmacists around the country could subscribe to his program and obtain poster sets for their pharmacy windows on a regular basis. Pinchak donated 39 poster sets to AIHP in 2013. For the online collection, AIHP also digitized and described some accompanying documentation that his company published at the time to promote the subscription service.

The Parke, Davis & Company Ink Blotter Collection comprises 236 ink blotters that the company produced in the 1930s and 1940s to advertise their pharmaceutical products. Measuring 7 by 3 ½ inches, they carry eye-catching visual images and pack a lot of information into a small space: the key ingredients in a drug or medicine, the health complaints it addressed, and recommended dosages. William Helfand, a noted collector of pharmacy-related ephemera and a longtime AIHP member, donated the ink blotter collection to AIHP.

Most recently, we added the Mickey Smith Drug Advertisements Collection. The collection consists of just over 100 drug ads collected by Mickey Smith, the F.A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Pharmacy Administration at the University of Mississippi (and longtime AIHP member). The ads were taken from prominent medical journals published from the 1950s to the 1980s and depict a range of popular anti-anxiety medications prescribed at the time to reduce anxiety due to stress, nervous conditions, or serious medical ailments.

More information about the cannabis exhibit is available here.

Click this link to visit the AIHP Digital Library (or go to AIHP’s website at and you will find it under the “AIHP Collections” tab on the right). Once you are in the digital library, you can browse items, collections, and exhibits. We are adding collections to the library as the digitization work continues, so please check back often. We’d love to get your feedback!

Posted: February 3, 2022

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

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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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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):

May 9-12, 2024: Annual Meeting of the American Association of the History of Medicine, Kansas City, Missouri.
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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