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The 1511 "Concordia Apothecario-rium Barchin". CATALAN PHARMACY MUSEUM. FACULTY OF PHARMACY, BARCELONA.
by Josep M. Suņé Arbussa. professor of pharmacy history, legislation and management.

In 1957, the Faculty of Pharmacy moved from the premises of the Old University to a new building on the Pedralbes campus. It was the first university department to get installed on those new premises.

On the top floor of the central building, Dr. Jesús Isamat Vila, then a lecturer in the "History of Pharmacy", started to set up a small museum within a fifty square metre room furnished with a large table, a showcase and a few period polychrome cabinets which contained antique objects used in pharmacy, among which a collection of Escornalbou jars, glass containers for pharmaceutical use, microscopes and various other items he had been able to gather. (...)

Dr. Isamat had also obtained a quite notable collection of old pharmacy books - in large part from the Santa Victoria College, the precursor of the modern Faculty of Pharmacy - which were kept at the University's "Seminari de Cičncies" (College of Sciences). These volumes would form the nucleus of the "Biblioteca Histōrica de la Farmācia", a library that would be gradually enlarged and enriched by new books over later years. In the early eighties, a remarkable event took place: the university acquired the only known example of the "Concordia Apothecariorum Barchin", printed in Barcelona in the year 1511. It was the first edition of a professional work of reference written by the guild of apothecaries of Barcelona, what we consider today a pharmacopoeia, the first one ever published in Spain, a work whose only predecessor in the whole world was the "Nuovo Receptario" that had appeared in Florence in 1498. The name of "Concordia" precisely referred to the unanimous agreement reached by the apothecaries of Barcelona so that the book might be used as the official work of reference for their formulas, the so-called "compound" medicaments. The 1511 edition was followed by several works of a similar nature: two also printed in Barcelona (in 1535 and 1587), two in Saragossa (in 1546 and 1553) and two others in Valencia (in 1601-3 and 1698), though under the title of "Officina Medicamentorum". These were the very first Spanish pharmacopoeias, which were used at a local level, according to their geographical range of influence. The "Concordia Apothecariorum" printed in Barcelona in 1511 is therefore a bibliographical treasure of outstanding importance to the history of pharmacy, to Barcelona and to the universal store of pharmaceutical knowledge. (...)