Welcome to the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation. The NCMF directly supports the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM), the first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

  • ...The nation’s brightest young minds to consider careers in STEM and cyber related fields

  • ...Robust dialog with the American public on cyber policy, technology, and privacy

  • ...Those who “served in silence” with valor and distinction, especially those who gave their lives in service

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Polish mathematicians & code breakers made the first breakthroughs against Nazi Germany's Enigma code.......

1921: William Friedman joined War Department

Monday, July 1, 2019
1921: William Friedman joined War Department

1 July 1921: William Friedman joined the War Department when the Army's Chief Signal Officer offered Friedman a trial six-month government contract as a civilian cryptographer. This began William Friedman's 34-year career as an Army employee. By the end of 1921 he was named the Cryptanalyst of the Signal Service, accepting a salary of $4,500 per year. His duties ranged from teaching a course on military codes and ciphers, to writing the Army's first training manual on the topic, called "Elements of Cryptanalysis." Friedman published numerous other works throughout the 1920s.

Learn much more about William Friedman by searching the archives of Friedman documents released by NSA in April 2015. See the link at the end of this page for information. You can also learn more about William Friedman by visiting the new (April 2015) William Friedman: A Life in Cryptology Exhibit at the National Cryptologic Museum. More info in the link below.

(Excerpt from William Friedman's Cryptologic Hall of Honor Page via the NSA site): After receiving a B.S. and doing some graduate work in genetics at Cornell University, William Friedman was hired by Riverbank Laboratories, what would today be termed a "think tank," outside Chicago. There he became interested in the study of codes and ciphers, thanks to his concurrent interest in Elizebeth Smith, who was doing cryptanalytic research at Riverbank. Friedman left Riverbank to become a cryptologic officer during World War I, the beginning of a distinguished career in government service.

Friedman's contributions thereafter are well known-- prolific author, teacher, and practitioner of cryptology. Perhaps his greatest achievements were introducing mathematical and scientific methods into cryptology and producing training materials used by several generations of pupils. His work affected for the better both signals intelligence and information systems security, and much of what is done today at NSA may be traced to William Friedman's pioneering efforts.

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  • In July 1993, the National Cryptologic Museum was first opened to NSA employees and their families, and to other members of the Intelligence Community. This photo is of the main exhibit room as it appeared in July 1993 - courtesy of former curator Jack Ingram.

About Us

The NCMF directly supports the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM), the first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community. We think you will agree it is truly a "museum like no other."

Located adjacent to the National Security Agency (NSA) in Maryland, the NCM houses a priceless collection of artifacts that represent our Nation's history in code making and code breaking, as well as a world class library of cryptologic media. The NCMF acquires the best artifacts for the NCM and supports new educational and interactive exhibits.

The NCMF provides exceptional cryptologic programs throughout the year, encourages young minds to explore cryptology and innovation through valued awards, and hosts educational, cryptology-related exhibits at various community events.

As part of the Foundation's partnership with NSA to build the Cyber Center for Education and Innovation - Home of the National Cryptologic Museum (CCEI-NCM), the NCMF also serves as a leader in the field of cybersecurity - striving to provide the best in educational resources and programs.

The NCMF and NCM share a joint three-fold mission to Educate, Stimulate, and Commemorate. Learn more about our MISSION.