Nowadays, the Amsterdam Pipe Museum is an internationally acclaimed specialized museum and documentation and information center. The collection is considered to be the most important in the Netherlands, not because of its size (more than 30,000 items) but because of its thorough documentation: each pipe has been described, the origin has been noted, the maker has been determined and literature references and comments by the curator have been included.
The collection obtained an institutional basis with the formation of the Pijpenkabinet Foundation in 1989. In 1993, the collection was awarded an A status in recognition of its reference value, in other words, as a reference collection for other pipe and tobacco related objects found in Dutch museums or archeological institutes. In 2007, this was followed by inclusion in the Netherlands Museum Register, whereby the Amsterdam Pipe Museum is officially recognized as a registered museum by NMV (Netherlands Museum Association).
The Amsterdam Pipe Museum has become increasingly important; on the one hand, as a result of the expansion of the collection and, on the other hand, because of the closing down of other tobacco museums. Many historical museums have moved their pipe and tobacco collections to their depot because of the global anti-tobacco policy. Other institutes, such as Douwe Egberts’ Pijpenkamer (Pipe Room), the Niemeijer Tobacco Museum and the Kamper Cigar Museum, were forced to close their doors. This means that the amount of information on the tobacco history remaining in the ‘Collectie Nederland’ (the collection of the Netherlands), jointly owned by the museums, is steadily decreasing. Fortunately, key objects from most of the dissolved museums will be saved when they are acquired by the Amsterdam Pipe Museum.
Being independent of the government and industry, the Amsterdam Pipe Museum relies solely on private contributions. In contrast with the prevailing spirit of the times, the museum continues to collect and study the rich history of pipe smoking. The aim of the Amsterdam Pipe Museum is to publish and present information on the world’s most varied pipe collection, for present and future generations.