The Tropenmuseum possesses a substantial collection of photographs and negatives on the history of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. A selection from the period 1880 to 1990 has been made for this digital collection. The scenes depicted range from landscapes to street scenes, inhabitants and economic activities.
The Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands have always been overshadowed by two overseas regions that were considered to be more important, namely, Netherlands East Indies (present day Indonesia) and Suriname. It is for this reason that the compiled collection on the islands found in the Dutch Ethnographic museums (eight Dutch museums brought together under the Foundation SVCN) is considerably smaller in size but certainly no less interesting.
The islands are still an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten now are independent island states. Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are special municipalities of the Netherlands.
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