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Jonathan Murduck notes on Materia Medica lectures delivered by Benjamin Smith Barton at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School

Ms. Codex 1865

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Creator:
Murduck, Jonathan
Title:
Jonathan Murduck notes on Materia Medica lectures delivered by Benjamin Smith Barton at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School
Date:
1802
Call Number:
Ms. Codex 1865
Extent:
0.1 linear foot (1 volume)
Language:
English
Abstract:
This volume of handwritten lecture notes, titled “A Course of Lectures on the Materia Medica by Benjamin Smith Barton M.D., Professor […] at the University of Pennsylvania,” was kept by medical student Jonathan Murduck in 1802, and provides a fairly comprehensive survey of the medicinal substances commonly in use in the early nineteenth century United States.
Cite as:
Jonathan Murduck notes on Materia Medica lectures delivered by Benjamin Smith Barton at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, 1802, Ms. Codex 1865, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Jonathan Murduck (born circa 1782) was a student at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1802, but did not receive his degree until 1811. Between 1803 and 1805, Murduck practiced medicine in Port-au-Prince. Murduck’s financial records, patient records, and memoranda from these voyages are held in the Manuscripts Division of the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan.

Benjamin Smith Barton (1766-1815) was a leading botanist and naturalist of his day, and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania from 1789 to 1813.

Sources: Jonathan Murduck Account Book and Memoranda, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/c/clementsmss/umich-wcl-M-1890mur?byte=14434455;focusrgn=frontmatter;subview=standard;view=reslist

Scope and Contents

This volume of handwritten lecture notes, titled "A Course of Lectures on the Materia Medica by Benjamin Smith Barton M.D., Professor […] in the University of Pennsylvania," was kept by Jonathan Murduck in 1802, and provides a fairly comprehensive survey of the medicinal substances commonly in use in the early nineteenth century United States. The detailed table of contents at the beginning of the notebook lists a number of broad categories into which various medicines are sorted. The primary classes of drugs and medicinal substances noted are astringents, tonics, "Alimentary Matter," stimulants, evacuants (including errhines and sialogogues, drugs that produce a runny nose and salivation, respectively), diuretics, emetics, cathartics, and antithelmintics (anti-parasitic medicines). There is also an opening chapter on milk, which mainly discusses lactation in humans and the properties of milk, and a short final section titled "Materia Nutrentia," which relates to diet, nutrition and the component elements of food (acid, sugar, oil, etc.). The main chapters or sections of the text consist of a passage discussing the general characteristics, properties and applications of this type of medicine, followed by a list of "particular" drugs within the category. The great majority of “particulars” are medicinal plants, though some sections are subdivided into "metallic," "mineral" or "animal" substances (and in some instances, medicinal plants are arranged based on their indigeneity to the United States).

The medicinal substances are usually listed by their Latin names, and discussed in a few paragraphs. For botanical medicines, these descriptions provide the plant’s common and Latin names, native region, pharmaceutical preparation, effects upon the body, therapeutic applications, and sometimes one or two brief case studies indicating its efficacy or inefficacy in treating particular conditions. The three drugs described at greatest length are opium, "Cortex Peruvianus" (Peruvian bark or cinchona) and mercury; the discussion of each of these medicines is organized by the specific diseases they can be used to combat.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2017 October 9

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Rive Cadwallader

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Gift of Benjamin S. Paschell, 1903.

Processing Information note

Formerly: Dewey MS 615.1 B283.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • University of Pennsylvania. School of Medicine.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Lecture notes
Personal Name(s)
  • Barton, Benjamin Smith, 1766-1815
Subject(s)
  • Materia medica
  • Medical education--United States
  • Medical students
  • Medicine
  • Medicine--Study and teaching

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Collection Inventory

Volume

"A Course of Lectures on the Materia Medica by Benjamin Smith Barton M.D., Professor Materia Medica, Natural History, and Botany in the University of Pennsylvania", 1801.

1