History of Medicine
William H. Helfand is a consultant to the National Library of Medicine, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and other institutions in areas relating to art and medicine. He has degrees in Chemical Engineering (University of Pennsylvania, 1948), Pharmacy (Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, 1952), and was awarded degrees (h.c.) of Doctor of Humane Letters by the Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University in 1981 and Doctor of Science by the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1976. He has written five books including Pharmacy: An Illustrated History (with David Cowen, Harry N. Abrams, 1990), and The Picture of Health, (University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1991.) He has published a number of articles on the history of pharmacy and on prints, caricatures, posters and ephemera relating to pharmacy and medicine in Pharmacy in History, Medical History, Revue d'Histoire de la Pharmacie and other journals. Exhibitions of portions of his collection of prints and ephemera in the fields of medicine and pharmacy have been held many places, most recently in exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Library of Medicine. In 1986 he received the Pepys Medal of the Ephemera Society, London, for outstanding contributions in the field of ephemera studies, in 1972 he received the Kremers Award of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy and in 1989 he received the Urdang Medal for distinguished historical writing from the same organization. In 1987 he retired after more than 33 years as an executive with Merck and Co., the multinational pharmaceutical company.