Learning resources

The Museum provides a range of learning resources about the history of pharmacy. We are always looking to expand this section of our site and welcome suggestions on how we can develop our service.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to discuss any other resources that you would like the Museum to provide. You can email us at  museum@rpharms.com or call us on 020 5772 2210 (museum enquiries only).


Evolution of pharmacy

The Museum and the British Society for the History of Pharmacy have launched an online resource, The evolution of pharmacy, intended for use by lecturers and students of pharmacy. This web-based series of linked sheets provides an insight into the evolution of pharmacy and medicines. Each illustrated sheet provides an introduction to a subject area with suggestions for further reading and research.

Pharmacy debate packs

Our Pharmacy Debate Packs have been specifically written to support the Citizenship curriculum. Each Pack contains information on how you could run a topical debate and includes three different motions to be researched and discussed by your students.

• Should cannabis be legalised?
• Should smokers get treatment on the NHS?
• Is a pharmacist just a drug dealer with a shop?

The packs are designed for use with Year 10, but can be adapted to suit the learning needs of your class.

Our Pharmacy Debate Packs were highly commended for the Education Initiative Award at the 2009 Museum & Heritage Awards - the Museum equivalent to the Oscars! The packs were described as “a unique programme – that really leads the way”.

Information sheets

We provide four sets of illustrated information sheets that can be downloaded from the website. Written for pharmacists and non-pharmacists alike they cover pharmacy objects, the history of the profession and treatments over time.

We continue to add sheets to these sets and welcome suggestions for additional topics.

Health Histories

This resource for Key Stages 3 and 4 uses primary source material to allow students to investigate pharmacy history in the 20th century. Written with the British Dental Museum, there are companion resources on the BDA Museum website exploring the history of dentistry in the same period.

Medicine Chest

An exciting loans resource for the primary curriculum. The Medicine Chest uses real objects from the Museum’s handling collection to help children learn about medicine in the past as well as encouraging medicine safety today through its cross-curricula activities.


Using a variety of original sources antibiotics is a Key Stage 4 resource which investigates the discovery of penicillin and the place of antibiotics in the development of medicine in the modern world.

Online Research Guide

Our online research guide Discovering pharmacy history provides details about a range of resources, suggestions of research questions and how to investigate them, ideas for research projects, and links to further information.  It's a perfect place to start if you're new to researching British pharmacy history, or if you're an experienced researcher who needs some suggestions of further resources or subject areas.