The manuscript contains notes of Fordyce's chemistry lectures in shorthand using the Byrom system with occasional longhand words interspersed and is foliated throughout. An extensive index in longhand can be found on ff.313-317. Each new lecture is marked but after lecture 26 they are no longer numbered, and there are no dates given throughout.
Some of the ideas covered in the lectures according to the index are as follows: chemistry distinguished from mechanics; distillation by whom & when invented; attempts to form gold, universal medicine, universal solvent; plan of course; boundaries betwixt sciences indistinct; divisibility both of mechanical and chemical property; matter said to be divisible ad infinitum; chemistry treats of the smallest integral parts only; reasons that the most simple substances we know are really compounds; enumeration of chemical elements; inertia of matter; attraction & repulsion defined; specific & absolute gravity distinguished; dividing a solid into small particles to suspend in a fluid lighter or heavier than itself; substances chemically combined; elective attraction; separation by heat; chemical solutions; saturation; compound may become an element; digestion, maceration & decoction; filtration; precipitation; fermentation; crystallization; freezing to separate bodies; heat produced by burning fuel; use of a chimney; bellows, blow pipe, fuel, furnaces; dry solution & precipitation; evaporation & astalation; distillation & sublimation; chemical analysis; Glauber's distillation; classification of the first chemists; present classification; salts; vitriolic acid; nitrous acid; muriatic acid; acetous acid; tartar; acid of resins; native animal acid; acid of phosphorus; acid of borax; acid of amber; acid of spar; neutral salts; rays of light of three colours; phlogiston; essential oils; sugar; putrefaction; alcohol; soaps; reasons for believing the substances upon the surface of the Earth have been deposited since it was created; conjecture concerning emergence of land from bottom of the sea; formation of continents & seas; geological features; sulphur; elutriation; granulation; alkalis; metals; calcareous earth; stone ware etc.; gems; depth of the sea; mineral waters; weather; nitrous air, fetid vapour; expansion; states of solidity, fluidity & vapour; effects of heat & cold on the living body; heat.