|Royal Tropical Institute|
|Location||Mauritskade 63, Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Public transit access||Alexanderplein
GVB tram lines 9, 10, 14
The institute's history goes back to 1864, when it began in Haarlem as the Colonial Museum, founded to house the collection of artefacts brought back from the Dutch colonies in the East (esp. Dutch East India) by Frederik W. van Eeden. Its mission also included the scientific study of products derived from the colonies and improving trade and production.
The collection grew rapidly. In 1910, the Vereeniging Koloniaal Institute was founded in Amsterdam, and in 1926 the museum's collection was moved there. During World War II, the German occupying forces housed the Grüne Polizei in the institute; at the same time, owing to the complicated architecture of the building (at one time the largest building in the city), the institute was a hotbed of resistance—it housed weapons and radios, and even Dutchmen hiding from the Germans: the grandson of Hendrikus Colijn, resistance fighter Hendrik Colijn worked there under the alias Colijn, and when in 1944 the building was searched by the Germans he escaped through the labyrinthine passages in the attic.
In 1950, after Dutch decolonization, the institute's mission changed, and its broadening interest, now in tropical cultures in general, was reflected with a name change, to the current Royal Tropical Institute. Today, the collection is housed in the Tropenmuseum, in the same building, with the entrance on the Linnaeusstraat.
As of May 2012, the institute's annual budget is over E40 million; in 2011 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Netherlands) announced it would cease its E20 million annual subsidy, a decision appealed by the institute to the Dutch Council of State.