When Daniel Hanbury died in 1875 he instructed his brother Thomas Hanbury to divide his herbarium and materia medica collection between the Pharmaceutical Society, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the British Museum and Professor Friedrich Flückiger. Thomas Hanbury decided that had his brother been of sound mind before he passed away, he would have seen the value of keeping this unique collection together. In 1876 Thomas presented the entire herbarium and materia medica collection to the Pharmaceutical Society, under the stipulation that it must be kept separate from the rest of the Pharmaceutical Society’s museum collections. The donation was gratefully accepted and was housed separately in the Hanbury Room, for many years.
In 1890 Edward M. Holmes, curator of the Museum, published A Catalogue for the Materia Medica. In 1892 he completed the catalogue for the herbarium.
The herbarium collection is organised in the Bentham and Hooker classification system; plants are arranged alphabetically under each natural order. Many of the 610 specimens include personal notes taken by Hanbury himself.
The materia medica collection was eventually integrated into the larger Royal Pharmaceutical Society collection at some point, possibly when the museum collections were in storage after the Second World War.