Cryptology is the study of codes, or the art of writing and solving them. It is said that the breaking of the codes used by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan shortened World War II and saved millions of lives. Intelligence agencies around the world still use cryptology. America’s National Security Agency (NSA) uses cryptology, and their primary showcase for the general public is the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM) located in Annapolis Junction, Maryland.
NCM’s collection contains artifacts numbering in the thousands that illustrate the science of cryptology and its dramatic effects on American and world history. Visitors will find fascinating exhibits devoted to people and the devices and machines they invented in pursuit of sending and breaking codes on behalf of their countries. You can see one of the world’s oldest known cipher device made in the 18th century. The curators believe it is the oldest true cipher device in the world. History will be seen in a new light by museum goers after learning how cryptology influenced the outcomes of key events.
The NCM was originally intended to give NSA employees an opportunity to absorb lessons from failed and successful uses of cryptology in history. However, the museum gradually became a must-see for tourists over the years by amassing an outstanding collection illustrating America’s use of cryptology throughout history. Opening in 1993, NCM remains a great draw for visitors to both Maryland and Washington, D.C.
What makes the museum unique is that it is the only public museum offered by American intelligence agencies. A total of 50,000 visitors, including dignitaries and media personnel from all over the world walk through NCM’s doors annually, giving them an opportunity to learn more about mysterious aspects of our nation’s intelligence work, some of which was classified top secret not so long ago.
Students and teachers can benefit from the museum’s educational tours. Cryptology utilizes science and mathematics, and so those subjects are highlighted because of their practical applications in the world of code making and breaking. In addition, a reference library inside provides supporting materials. Scholars may study declassified materials only available at the NCM, providing valuable opportunities to gather knowledge regarding an arcane craft that was once unattainable.
The National Cryptologic Museum is only a 30-minute drive from Gibson’s Lodgings, a historic inn located in downtown Annapolis. Call us to reserve your bed and breakfast room at our toll free number 877-330-0057. We’ll be very happy to serve you and your family throughout the year.