Bletchley Park's bid to buy Turing Papers
Bletchley Park's bid to buy Turing Papers
Monday, 22 November 2010

With just a day left before a unique collection of documents relating to Alan Turing goes up for auction, time is running short for raising the funds necessary to secure them for Bletchley Park.

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The name Alan Turing is one that you will find referred to frequently on this site. He was a mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist who died tragically at the age of just 41, without having received public recognition for his wartime achievements as a codebreaker.

TURING

Alan Mathison Turing (1912-1954)

On 23rd November Christie's is to auction an impressive quantity of offprints including 15 of the published papers of Alan Turing. It is thought to be the largest collection of Turing's  work and was put together by Turing's friend and fellow Bletchley Park codebreaker, Professor Max Newman, to whom Turing presented the offprints.

William Newman, the son of Max Newman, highlighted the importance of the collection, saying:

“The offprint collection's value derives mainly from its completeness; indeed it may be the most complete collection of Turing's works in the world.  This has come about because Turing started to give offprints to Max Newman before he had published the Computable Numbers paper."

With an estimate set at £300-£500,000 the auction lot is beyond the reach of Bletchely Park Trust even though it is seen to be the obvious home for the collection:

"We can't even contemplate a £500,000 purchase from the Trust itself," said Simon Greenish, its chief executive. But we would be very comfortable having them here, and Bletchley would be an ideal place to have them displayed."

An online campaign to raise money was initiated by Gareth Halfacree, an independent supporter of Bletchley Park. The Trust has also pledged the proceeds of selling the remaining 30 limited edition Bletchley Park Golden Eggs, on sale at £3,750 each. Commissioned from the internationally renowned Fabergé family their design has been inspired by Winston Churchill's famous description of the codebreakers as 'The geese that laid the golden eggs, but never cackled'. For details of how to make a purchase see:
To make a donation to the fund:
Related articles:

 

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Last Updated ( Monday, 22 November 2010 )
 
 

   
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