Feeds

Bletchley Park archives to be digitised, put online

Rich WWII secret triv-trove expected

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Lost secrets of World War II are expected to be unearthed soon by a project aimed at digitising large amounts of hardcopy data held in files at 1940s codebreaking centre Bletchley Park.

The BBC reports on the archive-scanning plans now underway, which are expected to take around three years to complete.

"We've been wanting to do this for a while," says Simon Greenish, chief of the Bletchley Park Trust, in charge of operations at the site. "It was first discussed five years ago, but we have just never had the funds."

Famously, German "Enigma" military encryption (and many other Axis ciphering methods) were defeated at the site - also known as "Station X" - during the war. This gave the Allies a massive advantage in various critical battles, not least the pivotal antisubmarine struggle in the Atlantic. The famous "Colossus" machines, some of the world's first digital computers, operated at Bletchley, and legendary figures such as Alan Turing were among the personnel.

Despite the great achievements which occurred at Station X, the Trust which runs it as a museum nowadays has always been hard up - perhaps because its place in history remained largely unknown to the general public until the 1970s.

At the moment the extensive paper and card files held at the site are difficult to use. It's thought likely that the archives hold clues to many wartime secrets - for instance Allied intelligence on critical Nazi weaknesses such as scarce supplies of rubber. There may also be further revelations about the "greatest double agent" of the war, the fake German intelligence spymaster codenamed GARBO, who was actually working for MI5.

Personnel and equipment for the digitisation project are being provided by HP, the Trust itself being too hard up.

"If I ever manage to secure £10,000 then that goes towards buying a new roof," says Greenish. "But [with the digitisation] for the first time we hope we will be able to put everything into the public domain."

The Beeb report is here. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?