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W.R. Stirling notes on the lectures of Henry McMurtrie

Identifier: MSS 2/273

Scope and Contents

These notes on Henry McMurtrie's anatomical and physiological lectures were taken by W. R. Stirling while he was a student at the Central High School of Philadelphia. The volume is marked "Vol. II" and contains notes on the muscles and digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and the nervous systems. In addition to notes, the volume contains numerous anatomical drawings.

Stirling's notes reveal that McMurtrie's lectures on anatomy included information on famous anatomists and their experiments. McMurtrie also provided many interesting stories to illustrate his points; to demonstrate the power of the mind in moving the muscles, McMurtrie related several stories about "strong men" to his class. When discussing the growth of the teeth, he told his students about a documented case of a 118 year old man who grew a new set of teeth. McMurtrie also drew from his own experiences; in a lecture on the digestive system, he related a story about his old music teacher, Mr. Wood, who was head chorister in the Chestnut Street Theater. Mr. Wood died when a piece of beef became lodged in his larynx. McMurtrie used this story to impress on his students that they should never play tricks on each other when eating.


  • circa 1842


Biographical / Historical

William R. Stirling was admitted to the Central High School of Philadelphia in 1842.


1 volume

Language of Materials


Custodial History

William R. Stirling's notes on Henry McMurtrie's anatomical lectures were purchased by the Historical Collections of the Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia on 13 July 1992 from Carmen D. Valentino. The volume was purchased through a gift of the Samuel Lewis Circle.

The volume was catalogued in 1992.
W.R. Stirling notes on the lectures of Henry McMurtrie
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Repository

19 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia PA 19103 United States