The Thomas O. Nock notebooks pertain to Nock's studies at Jefferson Medical College in the mid-1880s and to his finances while practicing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the late 1880s. Nock kept detailed notes of lectures by professors Jacob Mendes Da Costa and Samuel W. Gross.
The collection is made up of 2 volumes: Volume 1 has notes on Da Costa's lectures about the "Practice of Medicine" (173 pages), as well as financial records (approximately 125 pages), and Volume 2 has notes on Gross's lectures about surgery (209 pages). Nock's lecture notes contain detailed information about various ailments, their symptoms, and methods of treatment. Da Costa discussed afflictions such as smallpox and chicken pox, rheumatism, gout, diphtheria, rheumatoid arthritis, tonsillitis, ulcers, stomach cancer, blood diseases, liver diseases, cholera, and numerous types of fevers and febrile diseases. Nock created a chart of ways to diagnose "hepatic diseases" (Volume 1, pages 166-167). The financial records run from June 1886-January 1890 and provide accounts for each patient in Nock's private practice, recording their addresses and the dates and costs of visits, medicines, and treatments. Nock often compiled monthly financial reports, and created a yearly report for 1886.
Gross lectured on inflammation, abscesses, fevers, ulcers, grafting, gangrene, hemorrhage, tetanus, venereal diseases, bladder diseases, and various types of wounds. He also provided information on grafts, amputations, and antiseptic treatments, and the notes include recipes for formulas such as Gross's "fever mixture" (Volume 2, page 47). Nock recorded Gross's evolving beliefs on germ theory (Volume 2, pages 17 and 43). Items laid into the volumes are prescriptions, stationery from Nock's private practice, advertisements for George B. Williams's "Emulsia of Morrhuae cum Calcis Hypophosph," and miscellaneous notes.