FOCUS The History of Pharmacy Collection in Cluj-Napoca

A new book is now available on the History of Pharmacy Collection from Cluj-Napoca, in full color and bilingual text (Romanian and English). It is available at the collection, in Unirii Square 28, or at the mother institution, the History Museum on Daicoviciu St. 2.

Ana-Maria Gruia, FOCUS Colecţia de Istorie a Farmaciei din Cluj-Napoca.  History of Pharmacy Collection in Cluj-Napoca, Ed. Argonaut, Muzeul Naţional de Istorie a Transilvaniei, 2016, 200 p.


            This is a brief incursion into the history of spices, of exotic ingredients, of pharmacy and healing, of mentalities in Transylvania, with notes connected to commerce and selling, collectors, and the history of museums.
            The catalogue groups some of the most interesting ingredients or products sold in the apothecary shops of old, including several introductory pages on the history of the pharmacies in Cluj and the present-day collection of the museum. The majority of these ingredients have been presented between 2014 and 2016 at the History of Pharmacy Collection part of small exhibits entitled “FOCUS – exhibit of the month”, completed and accompanied by English translations. Others have been discussed during temporary exhibitions such as “On pipes and smoking in Transylvania” (November 2014-February 2015), “The History of Aphrodisiacs” (February-May 2015), “Harry Potter and the Real History of Pharmacy” (November 2015 – May 2016) and “The History of Poison” (May-August 2016) and during several thematic events. The Romanian versions of almost all of the texts have been published in Făclia under the series entitled “Exhibit of the Month at the History of Pharmacy Collection”.
The catalogue presents ingredients of various origins (human, animal, vegetal, mineral) and several pharmaceutical and para-pharmaceutical products sold in Transylvania during the Early Modern and Modern Eras.
The present volume starts with the presentation of the old pharmacy that currently hosts the History of Pharmacy Collection and in the end I have appended a glossary of specific or less usual terms, and a basic bibliography of works discussing the history of pharmacy in Transylvania.

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