Photo archive

Photo archive and reproduction service

The Society's Museum holds a photo archive of some 7,000 images reflecting both the personalities, premises and work of the Society over 150 years and the broader history of British pharmacy. A useful introduction to the archive is given in Pharmacy history: a pictorial record by Kate Arnold-Forster and Nigel Tallis, published in 1989 and available from the Museum.

In addition to its historical photographic archive, the Museum maintains a useful and growing library of photographic images showing a representative selection from its collections of objects. As well as general shots of wrapped medicines, dispensing, storage and display equipment, the majority of the Museum’s fine collections of medical caricatures, mortars and early drug jars have been systematically photographed.

A large selection from the Museum’s caricature collection is available to buy online on the Memoryprints website.

Services we offer

Digital images
A growing number of images are available in digital formats. For images to illustrate talks and presentations, you may be interested in our Pictures of Pharmacy Past CD which has been designed for use in educational presentations and contains 30 historical pharmacy images from the Museum’s collections – some dating back over 500 years.

New photography
In cases where the Museum does not hold an existing photograph that you have requested, we can usually arrange for the image or object to be professionally photographed. The costs of this will normally be borne by the client.

Sale of prints and 35mm slides
Subject to the Keeper’s discretion and copyright restrictions, the Society’s Museum is able to supply for purchase either prints or 35mm slides of the majority of images and objects in its collection.

Hire of 5”x4” transparencies
In certain cases 5”x4” transparencies required for commercial reproduction can be made available for hire from the Museum’s collection. This service is restricted to UK clients only.

Reproduction of Images
Subject to the Keeper’s discretion and copyright law, the Museum can usually grant permission for the reproduction of images from the Museum’s collection.

The Museum does not charge a fee for reproducing an image for private study, academic research, personal use or other educational or non¬commercial purpose. For commercial use, a reproduction fee must be paid in advance.

Please note:

  • The purchase or hire of an image does not convey any reproduction rights.
  • The Museum does not operate a 35mm slide loan service.
  • No copyright in any image shall pass to the client either with the sale or hire of a copy or with the Museum’s grant of reproduction right.
  • Clients’ own photography of individual Museum objects is not generally permitted. Companies wishing to undertake other on site photography or filming should contact the Keeper. A facility fee is charged.

Next steps 
To enquire about any of the services above, or to arrange an appointment, please contact the Museum by telephone on 020 7572 2210 (museum enquiries only) or via email at