19 February 2021
The Amsterdam Pipe Museum collection has had a department for Tabacolgy for years, in addition to clay pipes, archaeology, ethnography, etc. It is a nice term to refer to all objects that have to do with tobacco, or in a broader sense, with smoking. In fact, it is a neologism, a newly invented term, perhaps not even an official word. All of a sudden, something strange is going on. The word tabacology appears to have acquired a different meaning in neighbouring countries. In Belgium and France in particular, unnoticed the term is commonly used for the “medical study on smoking addiction” or “counselling for smoking cessation”. It is even an official university study. Now that is not something that a museum with historical objects around pipe and tobacco wants to be involved with. So as a precaution, to avoid confusion, we have replaced our beloved term tabacology with tobacco curios, subdivided into European or ethnographic. The collection is no less interesting!