National Cryptologic Museum

The National Cryptologic Museum (NCM) is an American museum of cryptologic history that is affiliated with the National Security Agency (NSA). The first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community, NCM is located in the former Colony Seven Motel, just two blocks from the NSA headquarters at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. The museum opened to the public on December 16, 1993, and now hosts about 50,000 visitors annually from all over the world.

The NCM is open Monday through Friday, 0900–1600, as well as 1000–1400 on the first and third Saturdays of each month. It is closed on Sundays and all Federal holidays, and operates on NSA's emergency/weather closure schedule (e.g. if NSA is closed, the museum is closed as well). The NCM includes a gift store whose operational hours coordinate with the museum's operational schedule (e.g., if the museum is closed altogether, opens late, or closes early, the gift shop does likewise) and an unclassified library with weekday-only operating hours that also reflect the museum's weekday operational schedule. The library includes over a dozen boxes of the files of Herbert Yardley, declassified Enigma messages, technical reports, and books including how to crack the Data Encryption Standard using Deep Crack.

Next to the museum is the National Vigilance Park (NVP), where three reconnaissance aircraft are on display. A U.S. Army Beechcraft RU-8D Seminole reconnaissance plane represents the Army Airborne Signals Intelligence contribution in the Vietnam War. A Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport, modified to look like a reconnaissance-configured C-130A, memorializes a U.S. Air Force aircraft shot down over Soviet Armenia during the Cold War. Finally, the park contains a U.S. Navy Douglas EA-3B Skywarrior, commemorating a mission in the Mediterranean on January 25, 1987 in which all seven crew members died.

NCM and NVP are open to the public and admission is free. Donations to the NCM Foundation are accepted. Photography is allowed inside the museum, however, flash photography is prohibited in certain areas of the museum due to the age of some of the artifacts.

Read more about National Cryptologic Museum:  Collections, Activities, NSA Hall of Honor, Photo Gallery

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