Preserving Pharmacy's Heritage since 1941


These wonderful full-page watercolour illustrations are from a 16th-century edition of Pedanius Dioscorides’s work on herbal medicine, De Materia Medica. Dioscorides (ca. 40–90 AD), a Greek physician and botanist, is considered to be the father of pharmacology, with this five-volume book hailed as the forerunner of modern pharmacopoeias (books that record medicines along with their effects and directions for their use). His book was translated from the original Greek to Latin, Arabic, and Spanish, and continued to be in use with additions and commentaries written by various authors, one of them being the 16th-century Italian doctor Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1501–1577). Describing one hundred new plants not included by Dioscorides, Mattioli’s expansion of the book first appeared in Italian and was later translated into Latin, French, Czech, and German. These illustrations, found in Mattioli’s version of the book, are dated between 1564–1584 and are the creation of the Italian artist and botanist Gherardo Cibo (1512–1600).Type your paragraph here.

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American Institute of the History of Pharmacy

danish foundation of the History of Pharmacy

Film of "The Old Craft"

  • AIHP Collection
  • Links to other collections
  • Museums  (AIHP Museum Guide, 1999)

Beautiful images available from:

The Public Domain Review (publicdomainreview.org)

The beautifully prepared films are available at the website: http://www.dfhf.dk/index.php/en/film

Each film has a duration of 10 to 15 minutes.
The films are produced by Wessing Film & TV in 1994 for the foundation.

Popular AIHP Books

As part of the ceremonies surrounding the 30th John W. Webb Lecture at Northeastern University, on 26 October 2014, a new display was unveiled.  Mr. Webb was the chief pharmacist from Massachusetts General Hospital from 1959 to 1983, and he was on the pharmacy faculty at Northeastern. The driving force behind the display creation was the current chief pharmacy officer at MGH, Christopher Fortier (cfortier@partners.org; 617.643.5301).


The Danish Foundation for the Preservation of Old Pharmacy Equipment & Furniture, now called the Danish Foundation of the History of Pharmacy, wished to document the old craft of a chemist and its many proud traditions for posterity.

The Old Craft of a Chemist—A film

Medicines have been produced at pharmacies through centuries. In the 20th century, the manufacturing of medicines was gradually taken over by the pharmaceutical industry, and in 1990 the pharmacies’ production completely ceased.



History of the Pharmacy Department at Massachusetts General Hospital

New display unveiled