Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
National Cryptologic Museum
The United States National Cryptologic Museum is the National Security Agency’s principal gateway to the public. It shares the Nation’s, as well as NSA’s, cryptologic legacy and place in world history. Located adjacent to NSA Headquarters, Ft. George G. Meade, Maryland, the Museum collection contains thousands of artifacts that collectively serve to sustain the history of the cryptologic profession. Here visitors can catch a glimpse of some of the most dramatic moments in the history of American cryptology: the people who devoted their lives to cryptology and national defense, the machines and devices they developed, the techniques they used, and the places where they worked. For the visitor, some events in American and world history will take on a new meaning. For the cryptologic professional, it is an opportunity to absorb the heritage of the profession.
Originally designed to house artifacts from the Agency and to give employees a place to reflect on past successes and failures, the Museum quickly developed into a priceless collection of the nation’s cryptologic history. The Museum opened to the public in December 1993 and quickly became a highlight of the area.
Being the first and only public museum in the Intelligence Community, the Museum hosts approximately 50,000 visitors annually from all over the country and all over the world, allowing them a peek into the secret world of codemaking and codebreaking.
The Museum is also an invaluable educational tool, benefiting thousands of students and teachers every year. Tours are provided allowing students of all ages the chance to learn about cryptology’s impact on history and the possibility of exciting jobs in an area they may not have thought possible.
The Museum has been featured in a plethora of international TV, print, and radio media and has hosted visitors and dignitaries from around the world.
Adjacent to the Museum, is the National Vigilance Park. The park showcases two reconnaissance aircraft used for secret missions. The RU-8D serves to represent the Army Airborne Signal Intelligence contribution in Vietnam and the C-130 memorializes an Air Force aircraft that was shot down over Soviet Armenia during the Cold War. The museum is open to the public and admission is free.
- Jack E. Ingram, Ensuring the Legacy: The Story of the National Cryptologic Museum, Studies in Intelligence, 47(3), 2003 
- Jack E. Ingram, The National Cryptologic Museum: The First Ten Years — A Personal Story. Intelligencer 14(1) (Winter/Spring 2004), pp101–110.
- Louis Kruh, A Pictorial Tour of the National Cryptologic Museum, 18(4), October 1994, pp381–389.
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