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.......

1941: Eligible readers of "Magic" intercept are established.

Thursday, January 23, 2020
1941: Eligible readers of "Magic" intercept are established.

23 January 1941: Intelligence chiefs of the U.S. Army and Navy established a list of eligible readers of the "Magic" intercept. Follow the link at the bottom of the page to learn about the Magic of Purple exhibit at the NCM.

The Japanese "Purple" code did not break easily. For eighteen months cryptanalysts working for S.I.S. struggled with this difficult Japanese diplomatic code. Then, one day in September 1940, Genevieve Grotian made a discovery that would change the course of history. By analyzing and studying the intercepted coded messages, she found a correlation that no one else had yet detected. This breakthrough enabled other cryptanalysts to find similar links.

William Friedman and members of the S.I.S. built a crude model that was a remarkable imitation of Purple. Soon this product of American engineering and mathematical insight helped with reproducing the most guarded Purple communications. So impressed was one USN Rear Admiral that he called the process Magic, and the nickname stuck.

Almost sixty years later, Frank Rowlett, a cryptologic pioneer and head of the "Purple" team, remembered that historic day when the code broke. "What [Genevieve] Grotjan did was a big step forward and was very significant in the solution of Purple." Her discovery, and the work of other team members, allowed the United States to read secret Japanese diplomatic messages and to continue reading them throughout World War II. Genevieve Grotjan's contribution to the Allied victory cannot be measured.

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  • The first fully automatic computer, the "Harvard Mark I," formally began operations. In the photo: Grace Hopper working on the Mark-I at Harvard University during WWII. Photo from @GillianJacobs

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.