Friday, September 04, 2015

New Accessions: Robert Ambrose Pharmacy Collection


Folks, I am back to doing more “New Accessions” posts!  After a few weeks of personal, at-home preservation tips, I wanted to take a short break and fill you in on some of the excellent, research-value laden materials and collections we have acquired recently.

The collection I am highlighting today came to me by way of the Ambrose family, who met with me to donate a prescriptions scrapbook from the 1890’s and some medicinal bottles of unknown vintage (some of the bottles still contain fluid—yuck).  The scrapbook is pretty unique.  We have another prescription scripts collection, the Thornton Pharmacy Prescription Collection, which contains a similar aggregate of scripts written in the early 20th century.  Like the Thornton Collection, this scrapbook has scripts pasted in to it, in order and numbered (Thornton scripts are loose, but in order as well).  The scripts are handwritten and usually contain the name of the Doctor or the Pharmacy that prescribed the medicine.  The book is in amazing condition considering its age and the heavy use of glue within its pages.  The scrapbook was collected by Robert Ambrose, however, we are unsure exactly how he came across this book and why he kept it.

A dusty tome . . .

 . . . Filled with prescriptions!
A few weeks after acquiring the scrapbook, I was sent a few loose scripts from various pharmacies and doctors in the region.  A nice little addition to the collection with the dates being more in the 1907 range.

Loose scripts
The part of the acquisition which I want to point you to is the roughly 25 bottles of medicine—many of which are empty—some of which are not!  The bottles will be stored with the rest of the pharmaceuticals in our Pharmaceutical Preparations Collection, which is kept together due to the types of materials found in there. 

Several of the included medicinal bottles
The next step in processing (taking preservation actions and creating a detailed collection guide) will involve light cleaning of the bottles and some research into what they were used for or what they might have once contained.

The secondary research value I can foresee for this collection involves the analysis of the types of medications prescribed for certain ailments and maladies in the latter 19th century.

This collection is open and available for research.
Till next week!
Max

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