This paper argues that historical works in pharmacy are important tools for the clinician as well as the historian. With this as its operative premise, delineating the tripartite aspects of pharmacy as a business enterprise, a science, and a profession provides a conceptual framework for primary and secondary resource collecting. A brief history and guide to those materials most essential to a historical collection in pharmacy follows. Issues such as availability and cost are discussed and summarized in checklist form. In addition, a glossary of important terms is provided as well as a list of all the major U.S. dispensatories and their various editions. This paper is intended to serve as a resource for those interested in collecting historical materials in pharmacy and pharmaco-therapeutics as well as provide a history that gives context to these classics in the field. This should provide a rationale for selective retrospective collection development in pharmacy.