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The museum was created in 1957 by Dr. Jesús Isamat Vila (Olot, 1895-Barcelona, 1981). It was named the Library and Museum of the History of Catalan Pharmacy, and was conceived as an extension of the History of Pharmacy seminar room in operation at that time. The museum was inaugurated in the 1957-58 academic year in the new building on the Pedralbes campus which has been home to the University's Faculty of Pharmacy since then.

Isamat's design for the museum followed the enlightened tradition of science museums in operation at major European and US universities. He rejected obsolete nineteenth-century models with "endless rows of neatly arranged specimens, ... a soulless atmosphere, ... a mere butterfly depository", and set out to create a dynamic and open university museum for the Faculty of Pharmacy. He saw the museum as a place of study, devoted exclusively to the history of the development of a vital human activity, the art of preparing medicines; and which, at the same time, would not merely display a set of exhibits but would lay emphasis on "ideas rather than objects".

Since that time, thanks to the museum's occasional acquisitions and generous donations, we now have more than two thousand pieces - not counting the old pharmaceutical specialities, the most numerous and, together with the collection of pharmaceutical posters, the museum's most characteristic collection.

The museum was originally intended to be a place for teaching and for the dissemination of knowledge, but due to the lack of space available and the impossibility of enlargement it has had to install its showcases in the faculty's corridors and stairways. So in fact the museum has been obliged to use one of the most advanced techniques in museum science, going out to meet its public and participating in the life of students and lecturers. Though visitors are unlikely to climb the six flights of stairs to the museum (there is no lift), the museum is present on each floor of the faculty.

Dr. Jesús Isamat Vila