Preservation and Access: Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Period of Performance

6/1/2022 - 5/31/2025

Funding Totals

$326,326.00 (approved)
$326,326.00 (awarded)

Accessing the History of Health, Pharmacy, and Medicines at UWSoP/AIHP

FAIN: PW-285080-22

University of Wisconsin System (Madison, WI 53715-1218)
Lucas Richert (Project Director: July 2021 to present)

The arrangement and description of 1,000 linear feet and digitization of 2,000 artifacts and ephemera documenting the history of pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, medicines, and public health in the U.S. from 1850 to the late twentieth century.

The goal of this three-year project is to improve the ability of researchers to discover, use, and access important historical and archival collections held by the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (AIHP) and the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy (UWSoP). The collections sit at the intersection of the humanities and the health sciences and provide valuable historical context about a range of contemporary issues related to pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, drugs, and public health. The project will (1) create a comprehensive and detailed finding aid for the Kremers Reference files, a deep, diverse, and uncataloged topical archival collection of about 1,000 cubic feet; (2) begin inventorying the significant and uncataloged AIHP and UWSoP ephemera and artifact collections that document the material culture of pharmacy; and (3) create an online freely accessible digital library populated by about 1,000 artifacts and 1,000 pieces of ephemera from the collections.

Media Coverage

UW-Madison pharmacy archive fills the prescription for curiosity (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Neal Patten
Publication: The Capitol Times
Date: 5/7/2023
Abstract: What do frogs riding bicycles, instructions for turning a diaper into a homemade gas mask, century-old opium, and decades-old laxatives have in common? They are all items you can find in the collections at the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (AIHP), an archival library located in the basement of Rennebohm Hall, which houses the School of Pharmacy at UW-Madison.

Digitizing Centuries of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacy History (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Ben Cadigan
Publication: UW-Madison School of Pharmacy blog
Date: 12/6/2022
Abstract: Where would you look to find a Martian-themed booklet advertising products from the Arlington Chemical Company, or a fan printed with the Goddess Diana advertising 666 Cold Preparation? There’s just one answer: the Kremers Reference Files, housed within the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy (AIHP) and the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy.
URL: http://

Associated Products

Accessing the History of Health, Pharmacy, and Medicines in Madison (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Accessing the History of Health, Pharmacy, and Medicines in Madison
Abstract: Recent events as diverse as America’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis, the anti-vaccine movement, the debate over the legalization and regulation of marijuana and other personal use drugs, struggles over drug prices and accessibility, among others, all have roots in the history of pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, drugs, medicines, and healthcare. The wide-ranging public debates about these topics vividly demonstrate the vital importance of grounding contemporary public health discussions in a clear understanding of their relevant histories — and in evidence. This talk, the first part of the Summer 2023 Kreminar series, will showcase ongoing collections activities at the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy and UW-Madison SoP, including NEH and UW funded projects. The talk will also introduce important smaller collections and recent initiatives that will be featured in future episodes of the 2023 Kreminar.
Author: Lucas Richert
Date: 06/01/2023
Location: Madison, WI
Primary URL:

From the Collections: Supporting Student Research (Blog Post)
Title: From the Collections: Supporting Student Research
Author: Susie Seefelt Lesieutre
Abstract: From the Collections is a recurring feature at that highlights articles, artifacts, images, and other items of interest from AIHP publications and collections. This post is contributed by Susie Seefelt Lesieutre, AIHP’s Collections Associate. As work begins on the National Endowment for the Humanities grant awarded earlier this year, the historical collections in the AIHP Kremers Reference Files continue to support and inform other critical projects as well, such as student-led inquiry and research. One such project is being conducted by JJ Strange, a PhD student in the University of Wisconsin-Madison History of Science, Medicine and Technology program. Strange is studying the work of Chinese students that attended the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy in the early 20th century.
Date: 11/16/2022
Primary URL: http://
Blog Title: "From the Collections"

How the history of pharmacy resonates today (Radio/Audio Broadcast or Recording)
Title: How the history of pharmacy resonates today
Director: Lee Rayburn
Producer: Mackenzie Krumme
Abstract: More than 80 years ago, the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy was founded at UW-Madison. Today, the organization supports pharmacy education around the country. We speak with the institute director and an archivist on how the history of pharmaceuticals resonates today.
Date: 07/11/2023
Primary URL: http://
Primary URL Description: Website of WPR/NPR radio show.
Secondary URL: http://
Secondary URL Description: Link to the WPR Morning Show
Access Model: Open Access
Format: Radio
Format: Digital File
Format: Web