The National Museum of Computing
|Location||Bletchley Park, UK|
The National Museum of Computing is a museum in the United Kingdom dedicated to collecting and restoring historic computer systems. The museum is based in rented premises at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire and opened in 2007. The building — Block H — was the first purpose-built computer centre in the world, hosting six Colossus computers by the end of World War II.
The museum houses a rebuilt Mark 2 Colossus computer alongside an exhibition of the most complex code cracking activities performed at the Park, along with examples of machines continuing the history of the development of computing from the 1940s to the present day. The museum has a policy of having as many of the exhibits as possible in full working order.
Although located on the Bletchley Park 'campus', The National Museum of Computing is an entirely separate charity with its own fund raising and separate entrance/ticketing. TNMOC receives no public funding and relies on the generosity of donors and supporters.
The museum is working with four other organisations, in a group called Qufaro, to create the National College of Cyber Security for students between 16 and 19 years of age. The school will be located in Block G which was set to be renovated in 2017 but has sinced been pushed back to an unspecified date, funded by the Bletchley Park Science and Innovation Centre. (Bletchley Park Trust has no involvement with the college.) 
On display in the museum are many famous early computing era machines, including a functioning Colossus Mark 2 that was rebuilt between 1993 and 2008 by a team of volunteers led by Tony Sale. Colossus was a machine that helped break German encryption during World War II.
The museum also includes the world's oldest working digital computer (the Harwell Dekatron / WITCH), machines from the 1960s such as the Marconi Transistorised Automatic Computer (T.A.C.), Elliott 803 and 905, an ICL 2966 mainframe from the 1980s, a wide range of analogue computers, a hands-on retrocomputing gallery, and several restoration projects such as the PDP-8 and the PDP-11-based air traffic control system from London Terminal Control Centre at West Drayton near London. Further exhibits include mechanical and electronic calculators, a history of slide rules, a pair of Cray supercomputers, and a personal computing gallery with ten hands-on machines. Visitors can also see a re-build of the Cambridge University EDSAC computer that is underway (still in progress as of September 2017.)
There is also a suite which includes many BBC Micro personal computers which are used to encourage programming among visitors, an area dedicated to women in computer science, and a hands on display of video game consoles from different eras. All of this is alongside various other displays of devices and information regarding the evolution of computing from the 60s to the modern era.
The museum also features a cafe/gift shop.
The Colossus and Tunny Galleriesare open daily.
Demonstrations and talks usually occur on the hour when the galleries are open, with slight deviation depending on the number of visitors.
The rest of the museum is open to the public every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons and most bank holidays, and by appointment for groups only at other times. There are guided tours on Tuesday afternoons, Thursday mornings and other times. There is a modest admission charge to the museum to help cover overheads (including rent).
TNMOC depends for funding entirely on voluntary and corporate donations and modest admission charges. Fundraising continues and donors have included Bletchley Park Capital Partners, Fujitsu, Google UK, CreateOnline, Ceravision, Insight software, PGP Corporation, IBM, NPL, HP Labs, British Computer Society (BCS), Black Marble, and the School of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire.
The museum conducted a crowdfunding campaign in March 2018 to raise funds to build a new gallery for the Turing-Welchman Bombe. The campaign raised over £43,000 via crowd-funding and an additional £20,000 via direct donations.
The museum is managed by the Codes and Ciphers Heritage Trust, a registered charity, with employed and volunteer staff. The title The National Museum of Computing is an operating name.
- The National Museum of Computing
- "National Museum of Computing involved in setting up cyber security college - Museums Association". www.museumsassociation.org.
- "coltalk_2". www.codesandciphers.org.uk.
- Colossus – The Rebuild Story, The National Museum of Computing, retrieved 13 May 2017
- UK computer history gets new home, BBC News, 11 July 2007
- "Rise of the machines, south of Milton Keynes". The Register.
- "Turing-Welchman Bombe". The National Museum of Computing.
- Charity Commission. CODESANDCIPHERS HERITAGE TRUST, registered charity no. 1109874.
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