Books from the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

Books from the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

The Collection

The P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library contains a collection of over 5000 antiquarian texts, dating from the 15th to the early 20th century. Over the years, the library has identified and digitized works from this collection that are of particular historical value, to make them available to the public online through the library’s Digital Archive. Other books from the collection have been digitized through grants from the University of North Texas and are available through the Portal to Texas History.

Browse digitized works in the:

The Books

An autobiographical account of the life of Dr. Donald Taylor Atkinson.

The first textbook of anatomy for painters and illustrators, analyzing the anatomical basis of facial expression and in a series of beautifully detailed drawings showing how facial muscles are utilized to express human passions.

First printed surgical treatise in the German language, containing a compilation of ancient and medieval medical knowledge and the earliest detailed description of gunshot wounds. Contains many picturesque scenes of the 15th century doctor at his patient’s bedside, the apothecary in his pharmacy, and villagers undergoing various medical remedies.

A pharmacology reference text that includes physical characteristics, modern therapeutic applications and recommended dosages for various synthetic and natural drugs available in 1895.

Includes descriptions of county and church records, interviews with memorable Texans, a discussion of the benefits of the San Antonio climate for individuals suffering from lung disease, descriptions of local churches, schools, public halls, parks and other establishments.

  • Cupples, George (1815-1895). Case Book: Volume 1 and Volume 2. [San Antonio: George Cupples, 1867?]

Scottish-born surgeon George Cupples moved to Texas in 1844, and subsequently served as surgeon for the Texas Rangers in the Mexican War and then for the Confederate Army. In this handwritten case book, Cupples captured patient notes and reports on both medical and surgical cases he treated between about 1853 and 1867.

The purpose of Dixon’s book was to expose fraudulent doctors, practitioners and other professionals who treat individuals without the proper licenses.

Describes the climate of San Antonio, Texas and its potential benefits to individuals suffering from lung illness and disease.

English translation of Genga’s Anatomia per Uso et Intelligenza del Disegno,one of the finest examples of anatomy and artistry in balance, a masterwork from the age of copperplate engraving.  Has since become one of the most famous books on anatomy for artists.

Chemistry student notebook of Adolph Herff, noted San Antonio surgeon who received his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia in 1878 and returned to San Antonio in 1880 to practice in association with his father, Dr. Ferdinand Ludwig von Herff.

 A memoir written by Ferdinand Peter Herff, San Antonio physician, about his two ancestors, Ferdinand Ludwig von Herff and Adolph Herff, both early Texas physicians.

  • Hoyt, Henry Franklin (1854-).  A frontier doctor.  Boston: New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1929.

A autobiographical account of pioneer doctor Henry Franklin Hoyt, the first physician to practice medicine in the Texas Panhandle.

A reference text on the theory and practice of medicine in 1854, especially as experienced in Texas.

A collection of photographs and photo-micrographs taken by Dr. Menger of native animal and insect life found around San Antonio in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s along with accompanying detailed narratives.

A history of the development of medicine in the San Antonio area including early physicians, hospitals, and clinics, and the development of the West Texas Medical Association and the Bexar County Medical Society.

Highlights the story of medicine in Texas between 1528 and 1853, from the beginnings with Indian medicine to the development of the Texas Medical Association.

A narrative description of the  history of the Texas Medical Association over a period of one hundred years and the small band of medical pioneers who contributed to the beginnings of organized medicine in Texas.

Include the text of the address by T. H. Nott in 1887 regarding the protection of patients from quacks and fraudulent doctors.

Presidential address given before the Texas Surgical Society, October 24, 1932 covering the early history of surgery in Texas, including the development of the specialty, early surgical procedures, the first medical associations and organizations, as well as discussions of notable Texas surgeons.

This is a report on the nature, causation, and prevention of Texas cattle fever or the infection of cattle by ticks.  Includes statistical tables and illustrations of red blood corpuscles infected by ticks.

This pamphlet contains the text of the Texas Eclectic Medical Association’s constitution and by-laws, including the purpose of the Association, membership information, election of officers, resolutions, ethics, and other rules and regulations.


Banner image: Charles Bell, from Essays on the anatomy of expression in painting.