In 1813, Maximilian I Joseph von Bayern, King of Bavaria, founded the Botanische Staatssammlung München as an institution to preserve and curate the Royal herbarium. He bought the important collections of the botanist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber, a student of Carl von Linné, and later on unified these collections with the herbarium of the University of München. In 1817, Maximilian I Joseph sent the young botanist Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius on a Brazilian expedition that lasted three years. Upon Martius’s return in 1820, the king appointed him curator of the Royal herbarium. Martius worked at the Botanische Staatssammlung for thirty years (until 1854), and the approx. 25,000–30,000 specimens (7,300 species) in his official Brazilian herbarium constitute an unrivalled basis for taxonomic research on South American vascular plants.
A compilation of the collections and an index of the collectors from 1813 to 1988 is given by HERTEL & SCHREIBER 1988 (online version, extended).
In 2013 the Botanische Staatssammlung München celebrated its 200th Anniversary with two symposia.