Within the Royal Pharmaceutical Society donation of crude drugs is a significant collection of Cinchona bark. Cinchona is the source of quinine, used worldwide to treat malaria. The majority of these specimens have come from John Eliot Howard. Howard was a respected quinologist in the late 19th century. He worked unceasingly at studying the origins of cinchona in order to enable the cultivation of it in various locations around the globe. Following a visit to the Pharmaceutical Society, Howard noticed that cinchona was not well represented in the Society's collection. He therefore donated a number of specimens to them in 1874. In 1854 he had presented a similar collection to the Royal College of Physicians. When the Royal College of Physicians transferred their collection to the Pharmaceutical Society in 1926, the two Howard bark collections were combined. The collection contains the commercial varieties of cinchona bark available in Britain in the 19th century.
Another interesting collection now at Kew is the essential oil cabinet. The cabinet contains 704 essential oils as well as chemical compounds and various other plant specimens. The provenance of these items is not well known. Some of the major donors of essential oils to the Pharmaceutical Society were Schimmel and Co. (1893), Stafford, Allen and Sons (1937), and the Sydney Technological Museum.
Finally there is the Merchant slide collection. This interesting collection of 2000 glass microscopic slides of plants and animals was prepared by C. Merchant Esq. and presented to the Pharmaceutical Society in 1956.