Since the end of the 19th century, the Czech pharmacists and pharmacy historigraphers have endeavoured to build up a museum of their profession, but until the present moment have reached only partial and provisional results. The collection which has been gathered by now is administered by the Pharmacy Faculty of Charles University which is charged with the mission of establishing the central Czech Pharmaceutical Museum (CPM).
Since 1972, the Pharmacy Faculty has been trying to build this museum in the hospital of Kuks, a village to the Northwest of the town of Jaroměř. The hospital is a suitable place because of its health-service tradition. The Pharmaceutical Museum will link up with the beautiful, well-preserved baroque pharmacy dating from 1743 which ranks among the cultural, historical, artistic and pharmaceutical heritage of Europe.
The historical collection of the faculty includes a large number of widely varying items. There are various items of the pharmaceutical industry, such as pharmaceuticals and preparations (6.000 registered items), apothecary racks and other jars as well as package materials: bags, boxes and labels. There are also instruments and various apparatuses, such as scales and weights, mortars, mills, pressers, pill-manufacturing tools, tableting machines, and analytical and preparative chemical glassware. Several sets of furniture from pharmacies as well as cupboards and dispensing counters come of which are already being displayed. The collection also includes photographs, posters, promotion materials, and nearly one thousand bookplates of the Czech and Slovak pharmacists. Statues, reliefs, pictures and diplomas of pharmacists are also included.
The museum items are supplemented with large archives and about 11.880 volumes of books and periodicals, the largest historical pharmaceutical library in the Czech Republic. The collection, along with the archives and library, has therefore become the research base of pharmaceutical museology and pharmaceutical history. It is worth mentioning that, since 1972, undergraduate students have been using the materials collected here for their thesis. The items of the collection are also employed for instruction purposes at the Pharmacy Faculty, in lectures and seminars on the history of pharmacy, social pharmacy, and pharmaceutical service. In agreement with other departments of the faculty, the pedagogical use is to be gradually enlarged.
By the museum means, the development of the whole field of pharmacy in the Czech lanďs in the context of general history, will be presented in the most extensive and comprehensive way. For the time being an exhibition concerning the history of the Czech pharmaceutics from the l7th century to the 20th century has been installed. It is named after one of the previous exhibitions "The Magic of an Apothecary". We want to reach our goals by collaborating with other museums in the Czech Republic as well.
There will be mainly documented the pharmaceutics as well as other branches, e.g. pharmaceutical research, industry, control and wholesale as well as on the informatics, educational system and history of pharmacy. Attention will be also paid to the biographies of pharmacists, regardless of their nationalities.
The selected parts of the collection have already been exhibited on the faculty premises, there are external advertising expositions in the pharmacies in Hradec Králové, Jaroměř, Pardubice, Přerov, Železný Brod, and on the pharmaceutical congresses, both in this country (in 1966, 1976, and I979) and abroad (Cottbus 1980). A large, one-year exhibition called "The Charm of the Apothecary" was installed in the Regional Museum in Hradec Králové in 1982.
The reconstruction of the Hospital in Kuks has been going on in fits and starts since 1972. Only the rooms for the storage of collected items (depositories) have been completed and have been in use since 1986. The CPM extended the recent exposition by other spaces in 2001. At present there are seven accessible rooms with a corridor in the basement.
April and October only on Saturday and Sunday
from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
May - September daily except Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Adults - 1 EUR
Children, Solders, Seniors, Students - 0,5 EUR
Czech Pharmaceutical Museum
Hospitál Kuks, 544 43 Kuks
phone: 495 067 580 (Kuks)
fax: 495 512 266 (FaF UK)
Mgr. Ladislava Valášková, Ph.D.