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Pharmacy History in Special Collections and Archives Research Center


Rare Books

The Special Collections and Archives Research Center's rare book holdings are rich in the history of pharmacy. Medical botany is very well-represented from the 16th to the 20th centuries, beginning with early modern herbals and "books of secrets," through American exploration and expansion in the 19th century, and ending with volumes on West Coast and Oregon medicinal plants in the 20th century. The collections hold influential pharmacopeias and important works on early pharmaceutical chemistry from the 17th to the 20th century. Trends in the 19th century such as homeopathy and popular works for family use are also well represented. In the 20th century, the practice of modern pharmacy is represented in textbooks and training manuals. The Pauling library holds a number of popular works on drug use and adulteration in the 1960s-1990s. Finally, pharmacy at Oregon State is well represented through newsletters and other publications by the College of Pharmacy.

The list below is a partial list of items related to the history of pharmacy in the rare book collections, sorted by date-oldest.

Archives and Manuscripts

The following is a partial list of archival resources related to the history of pharmacy. To see more, search pharmacy in our collections database.

College of Pharmacy Records, 1899-2006
The College of Pharmacy Records consist of materials assembled and written by Dean Adolph Ziefle on the history of pharmacy in Oregon and the development of pharmacy instruction at Oregon State; reports; and publications. 

Oregon State University Memorabilia Collection, ca. 1860-present
The Memorabilia Collection is an artificial collection containing items of interest about Oregon State University. The collection contains a number of folders related to the history of pharmacy at OSU. 

Irwin Betzel Papers, 1911-1920
The Irwin Betzel Papers are comprised of materials assembled and generated by Irwin Betzel during his years as an Oregon Agricultural College student and OAC Instructor of Pharmacy. Included are two scrapbooks, a photograph album, several loose photographs. Of particular note are three notebooks generated as part of Betzel's work as a pharmacist containing handwritten formulas for an assortment of health treatments and hygiene products. The notebooks also contain recipes for a wide variety of household products including paints, photo-developing chemicals, and beer. The notebooks are accompanied by a small collection of pharmacy-related ephemera including advertisements and instructions for pharmaceuticals, bottle labels, and a certificate of membership for the C. C. Co. Spatula Club of Good Mixers.

Ernst Theodore Stuhr Papers, 1928-1956
The Ernst Thedore Stuhr Papers document Stuhr's research and writing on medicinal plants and the pharmacy profession. Stuhr served on the faculty of the Oregon State College School of Pharmacy from 1927 to 1944.

Robert MacVicar Papers, 1942-1995
Series 4: Projects, Sub-series 3 concerns efforts to expand Pharmacy education in the West, as led by the Northwest Academic Planning Forum (which MacVicar chaired from 1985-1987) and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.