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.

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

1889: Herbert O. Yardley's birth date.

Saturday, April 13, 2019
1889: Herbert O. Yardley's birth date.

13 April 1889: Birthday of cryptologic pioneer Herbert O. Yardley.

Herbert O. Yardley was commissioned a lieutenant in 1917, and tasked with setting up U.S. Army Code and Cipher Section, MI-8. The fledgling Cipher Bureau (The Black Chamber) had quite a few remarkable successes. Yardley eventually wrote a book about the Cipher Bureau, entitled "The American Black Chamber." The book was filled with good stories well told, as well as frank descriptions of Yardley's successes in cryptanalysis. It was a best-seller in 1932 -- overseas as well as domestically.

While many of his former colleagues and those now engaged in military cryptanalysis were appalled at the revelations in his book, Yardley defended his publication. He claimed self-righteously that his only motive had been to alert the United States to the weakness of its own systems and to the power of cryptanalysts. What he could do, he said, people in other nations could also do.

Yardley also wrote a book, "Japanese Diplomatic Secrets" in which he made heavy use of actual messages he'd intercepted from Japan. The book was seized by the U.S. government in 1933 for national security reasons.

Learn more via the links below and don't miss The Black Chamber display at the National Cryptologic Museum.

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  • Government seizure of cryptologist Herbert Yardley's never-published book, "Japanese Diplomatic Secrets."

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.