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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Canadian Local Histories and Special Collections  by Michelle LaBrosse-Purcell, B.Sc., MLIS. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Contents

Professional Associations (cont.)

Pharmacists

Information relating to a pharmacist can be found anywhere, even in a small town museum. As community pharmacy is a business – like any other business – it has to advertize. Checking through old newspapers or business directories might give you information about names of pharmacists working at the store. If the store still exists, you might also check to see if any employment records still exist and are available.

Several books exist on the history of pharmacists in Canada. Along with the book, The History of pharmacy in Alberta : the first one hundred years (from leeches to lasers), there is The Ontario drug store and druggist list (1851-1930) and The Ontario drug store and druggist list (1851-1980) by Glen Phillips. These types of books make the search for a pharmacist much easier than checking through old city directories looking for a particular pharmacist.

Fortunately, it appears that some material from pharmacies has been donated to archival institutions across Canada. By searching Archeion for the term ‘pharmacy’ we find 31 different collections, many of them belonging to individual pharmacies. So, if your relative worked at McLaren’s pharmacy in Watford, or Geen’s Pharmacy in Belleville, the records are still available for viewing at the Archives of Ontario.

If you search “pharmacy Calgary” in Google Books, you will find A Guide to Pharmacy Museums and Historical Collections in the United States and Canada edited by Griffenhagen, Stieb and Fisher. In it is a description of an early twentieth century pharmacy reconstructed at Heritage Village in Calgary.

How fortunate you are if your family lived in Nanaimo, B.C. between 1914–1929! The Nanaimo Community Archives hold a collection of prescriptions that are signed by area doctors from Nanaimo and Qualicum Beach. Personal names of patients are usually noted on the prescriptions. Here’s one time you’d actually hope for a sick ancestor, just so that you’d be able to find old prescriptions of theirs!

If the person you are searching for studied at the University of Alberta, you can find the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences fonds at the University of Alberta Archives. If your ancestor attended another university, try checking with their university archives for information. Just because it isn’t listed on an Internet database doesn’t mean that the information doesn’t exist—it might just not be entered into the computer yet!

Today, all pharmacists must be registered with their provincial association. It is these bodies that test pharmacists’ knowledge, licence them, and discipline them. Below is the list of the pharmaceutical associations across Canada that you can contact for further information regarding a pharmacist. I contacted all of them to see what they say about releasing genealogical information on past pharmacists. Those that responded have their answers given with their address:

Alberta

Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP)
1100-8215 112 St. NW
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2C8
Telephone: (780) 990-0321
Email: acpinfo@pharmacists.ab.ca

What they say: ‘On March 13, 2002 the Council of the Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP) passed a policy on “Management of Registration Information”. Public access to information about individual pharmacists is limited. Item #7 of the policy states that “the disclosure of Pharmacist Registration Information by ACP for any purpose or to any organization not defined herein, requires the written consent of the registrant”. The policy has not yet addressed the issue of requests for information on deceased pharmacists. Until Council has reviewed this issue and made a decision, this type of information will not be released.

Section 11(2) of the Pharmaceutical Profession Act allows for the release of the names of registered pharmacists and their registration status to any person. At this time, this is the only information that could be provided to you.’

British Columbia

College of Pharmacists of British Columbia (CPBC)
Ms. Linda Lytle, Registrar
200-1765 West 8th Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia V6J 5C6
Telephone: (604) 733-2440
Email: info@bcpharmacists.org

What they say: ‘We can release information about ancestors (since most inquiries involve individuals who have been deceased for many years). There is no set number of years that information about deceased registrants or former registrants must be kept private. The registration archives would all be here in our office. Other historical information might be available from the archives at the University of BC where our Council meeting minutes and other files have been sent over the years.’

Manitoba

Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association (MPhA)
200 Tache Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2H 1A7
Telephone: (204) 233-1411
Email:info@mpha.mb.ca

New Brunswick

New Brunswick Pharmaceutical Society (NBPhS)
L’Ordre des pharmaciens du Nouveau-Brunswick
1224 Mountain Rd, Unit 8
Moncton, New Brunswick E1C 2T6
Telephone: (506) 857-8957

What they say: We are able to confirm if someone is or is not a pharmacist licensed with us as long as we still have records.

Newfoundland

Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board'
Apothecary Hall, 488 Water Street
St. John’s, Newfoundland A1E 1B3
Telephone: 709-753-5877
Email:inforx@nlpb.ca

Northwest Territories

Northwest Territories Regulatory Authority
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
P.O. Box 1320
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories X1A 2L9
Telephone: (867) 920-8927
Email: hsscommunications@gov.nt.ca

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists
1559 Brunswick Street, Suite 200
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2G1
Telephone: 902-422-8528
Email: info@nspharmacists.ca

What they say: ‘All individual information regarding pharmacists in Nova Scotia is strictly confidential. However, we are able to release to you information about whether or not the pharmacist was licensed in Nova Scotia, and if so, his/her last date of registration.’

Ontario

Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP)
Ordre des pharmaciens de l’Ontario

483 Huron Street Toronto, Ontario M5R 2R4
Telephone: (416) 962-4861

What they say: ‘We do have some old records on the premises, although we do not have an actual archives department to handle such requests. Please feel free to send in your request and any information you do have and we will try our best to get any information we do have to you, however, it will take a while.’

Québec

Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec
266, rue Notre-Dame Ouest
Bureau 301
Montréal, Québec H2Y 1T6
Telephone: 800-363-0324/(514) 284-9588

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island Pharmacy Board
20454 TransCanada Hwy, P.O. Box 89
Crapaud, Prince Edward Island C0A 1J0
Telephone: (902) 658-2780
Email: info@pepharmacists.ca

What they say: ‘The only information that can be supplied would be name and date of registry.’

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan College of Pharmacists
700 – 4010 Pasqua Street
Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 7B9
Telephone: (306) 584-2292
Email: info@saskpharm.ca

What they say: ‘The person’s name, year of graduation (within a few years) and any other important information that we could use to search for this person would be very helpful [before we could provide any information].’

Yukon

Yukon Regulatory Authority
Community Services
Government of the Yukon Territory
P.O. Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6
Telephone: (867) 667-5811
Email: webcomments@gov.yk.ca

What they say: ‘Our pharmacist registers are public information. Please forward us the name of the pharmacist and the approximate year they were in the Yukon practicing.’



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Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online courses Canadian Local Histories and Special Collections offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about these courses or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at wiki@genealogicalstudies.com

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