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National Cryptologic Museum – Virtual Tour

National Cryptologic Museum - Virtual Tour

National Cryptologic Museum – Virtual Tour

The National Cryptologic Museum is focused on American cryptologic history that is affiliated with the National Security Agency (NSA). It was the first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community and is located close to NSA headquarters at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland. 

The museum offers tours that describe Cryptology’s history led by docents who are retired NSA employees. 

The museum’s collection contains thousands of artifacts. Initially, it started with the housing of NSA artifacts for employees only. Later the museum developed into a collection of U.S. cryptologic history that became public.

Some artifacts date back to pre-American Revolutionary War times when George Washington integrated military intelligence tactics, including coded messaging, into the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

National Cryptologic Museum - Virtual Tour

HY-2 VOCODER – this device was used for converting speech into a form compatible for encryption by a general-purpose key generator – Designed in 1961

The National Cryptologic Museum collections include:

  • Early Cryptology – cryptologic history before the formation of NSA
  • Cold War/Information Age – the early years of NSA, and the rise of the modern age of computers and the development of supercomputers
  • Information Assurance – the rise of satellite technology, secure voice communications, tamper-evident technologies, and use of biometrics in data protection
  • Memorial Hall –  the NSA Hall of Honor, and exhibits honoring those who lost their lives in cryptologic missions 

The library is non-circulating and includes the files of Herbert Yardley, declassified Enigma messages, technical reports, and books, including how to crack the Data Encryption Standard using Deep Crack.

The NSA Hall of Honor is a memorial honoring individuals with distinguished service to American Cryptology. Honored individuals were innovators whose expertise in NSA subjects made significant contributions to American Cryptology.

National Cryptologic Museum - Virtual Tour

US Navy version of Turing-bombe was used against the German cipher machine Enigma-M4

Highlights of the National Cryptologic Museum

  • World War II German Enigma machines available for visitors to use
  • Navy Bombe used to break World War II German Enigma
  • The history of American Cryptology exhibits
  • The people, machines, and techniques used for Cryptology
  • Equipment used to encrypt, decrypt, and secure information
  • History of Native American code talkers who protected U.S. communications during both World Wars by using their native languages to encode message traffic
  • History of Navy WAVES who, like the WRENS of the British Royal Navy, operated the Bombe to decrypt German military traffic during WWII
  • 16th century the Renaissance-era book Polygraphiae
  • The roles of women in cryptologic history
  • African-Americans in cryptologic history

National Cryptologic Museum - Virtual Tour

4 rotor Enigma machine used by the Kriegsmarine

National Cryptologic Museum

  • Museum:          National Cryptologic Museum
  • City:                  Annapolis Junction, Maryland
  • Country:           United States
  • Opened:          1993
  • Type:                Spy Museum
  • Category:         National Museum of the United States 
  • Location:          8290 Colony Seven Rd, Annapolis Junction, United States

National Cryptologic Museum - Virtual Tour

Falcon III – 117G software-defined radio

National Cryptologic Museum Map

National Cryptologic Museum

National Cryptologic Museum

Virtual Tour of the National Museums of the United States

National Cryptologic Museum

National Cryptologic Museum

National Cryptologic Museum

National Cryptologic Museum

National Cryptologic Museum

National Cryptologic Museum

National Cryptologic Museum

~~~

“Clearly the privacy of American citizens is a concern constantly. We always balance privacy and security.”
– General Michael Hayden, former N.S.A. director

~~~


Photo Credit: Daderot / CC0; J Brew / CC BY-SA (creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0); National Security Agency / Public domain; User:RadioFan / CC BY-SA (creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

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