NSA's Museum of Cryptography

Date: Tue, 25 Jan 1994 09:32:41 -0500 (EST)
From: jepstein@cordant.com (Jeremy Epstein -C2 PROJECT)
Subject: New museum on cryptography
There's absolutely no RISK in this article, but I thought it might be interesting to RISKS readers.

The 24 Jan 1994 *Washington Post* has an article about a new museum of cryptography at NSA. The author describes the runaround in trying to locate it, finding the usual problem of NSA phone numbers which answer with extensions and people who don't have names. The article then goes on to describe why cryptography is so important.

The museum contains all sorts of gems of the cryptography trade, including some old ciphering machines, displays of Civil War use of SIGINT, Enigmas (including one that can be tried out by museum visitors), and a Cray X-MP.

The museum is located in a building surrounded by barbed wire behind an old gas station near Baltimore. According to the author:

The National Cryptologic Museum, reached by exiting the Baltimore-Washington Parkway east on Route 32 and heading behind the Shell station, is open from 9am to 3pm Monday through Friday. Some at NSA say you can reach it at 301-688-5849. Others at NSA deny that number exists.
I haven't been there (if it in fact exists :-), and would be interested in hearing from others if it's worth the trip.

--Jeremy Epstein Cordant, Inc. jepstein@cordant.com

[I'm sure some readers will find risks. BTW, for old-timers, it was the Colony 7 motel. I am told it is indeed open to the public. PGN]