Alan Turing is a name synonymous with modern computing. A pioneer, war hero, and all-round great guy, he was snatched from us before his time due to prejudices surrounding his sexuality.
Bletchley Park, the home of Station X where Turing worked to break German ciphers during the Second World War, does its part to keep him in our memories – but it needs our help.
Auction house Christie’s is to auction off an impressive quantity of Turing’s offprints, including his first published paper. It’s thought to be the largest collection in the world, put together by Turing’s friend Professor Maxwell Newman to whom Turing presented the offprints. They belong in a dedicated museum, but Bletchley Park can’t afford the £300,000-£500,000 guide price.
As a result, I’m asking for volunteers to dig deep and see to it that these papers not only stay in this country, but stay where the public can see them and benefit from them. Let’s save them from being locked away in the vaults of a private collector.
It’s a big ask, looking for half a million pounds, I know – but if you work for a high-tech company, use a ‘universal computer,’ or are in any way connected with modern computing, you owe Turing a debt of gratitude – and this could be a way to help repay that debt.
Please, consider donating. Every little helps, as a certain supermarket chain would say.
If you’d like to donate, please do so as soon as possible – the auction is on the 23rd of November, so we haven’t got long if we want to save this historic treasure for future generations to enjoy!