Albert Whiteley of Columbia County, Maryland, compiled these two notebooks while a student at Jefferson Medical College between 1837 and 1839. He recorded detailed lecture notes from numerous physicians on topics such as surgery, anatomy, obstetrics, general medicine, and chemistry.
The first volume (6"x3.5", approximately 115 pages) contains notes on lectures that Dr. George McClellan, one of the founders of Jefferson Medical College, delivered between January 1838 and June 1839, concerning surgical methods. The second volume (7.75"x6", approximately 275 pages) contains notes on lectures by numerous instructors, including Samuel Colhoun, Samuel McClellan, John Revere, Granville Sharp Pattison, Jacob Green, Robley Dunglison, and George McClellan.
Each notebook covers a variety of medical topics, with discussions on specific diseases, ailments, and treatments, as well as general information about medicine and related topics. Treatments are frequently described in detail, and the notebooks record instructions for bloodletting, amputation, and other contemporary medical procedures. Medicinal treatments are occasionally mentioned, though the material concentrates primarily on physicians' practices. The second volume also contains lengthy discussions of human anatomy and physiology, a section on obstetrics, and information about general chemistry.