Bletchley Park Putting History Online

Bletchley Park Putting History Online

So you think you have a big scanning project to do.

Ever since reading the books Cryptonomicon and Enigma, I’ve been fascinated with the story of Bletchley Park, the site of British codebreaking activities during World War II.

Of course like many important historic sites, it has suffered from years of financial neglect and has millions of secret documents that have literally sat there for decades.

Hewlett-Packard heard about Bletchley’s plight and has donated scanners and staff to digitize the records and put them online.

He said since the archive is so big nobody knows exactly what each individual document stored there contains.

However, the information they expect to dig out will definitely include communication transcripts, communiques, memoranda, photographs, maps and other material relating to key events that took place during the war.

He said: “We have many boxes full of index cards, which have lots of different messages on them. But this will be our chance to follow a trail and put the messages together so we can find out what they really mean.

I love hearing about these massive scanning projects, especially when it is for historical purposes.

Most interesting to me is how they are already filling in gaps based on the documents they have gone through so far. For example, how “countries such as Spain, Switzerland and Sweden were perhaps not as neutral as they were portrayed.” Innnnteresting.

Do you have any other examples of big historic scanning projects? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

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[…] Bletchley Park Putting History Online Love these scanning projects, but this one is a big combination of everything I am interested in. […]

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