Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum 1883

  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum 1883
  • This photo shows the interior of the Museum at No. 17 Bloomsbury Square in 1883. The main purpose of the museum collection was as a repository for authentic and commercial specimens of drugs. It also served to supply professors within the School of Pharmacy with samples with which to illustrate their lectures. This practice of lending items resulted in many specimens deteriorating quickly or being misplaced. When Edward Holmes took over curatorship of the collection he created a separate teaching collection available for the use of the professors. He was then able to focus on expanding, instead of preserving, the main collection.

    In 1937 the Museum at the Pharmaceutical Society began an historical collection. It no longer actively collected materia medica, but focused its collection policy on ceramics, caricatures and proprietary medicines. Today these historical collections number around 45,000 objects, and the Museum is one of the leaders in its field.