You might not immediately recognize the name Alan Turing, but you can thank him for pioneering modern-day computer science. The English computer scientist and mathematician is also known for breaking the German Enigma code during World War II.
And he’s been in the spotlight again this year thanks to the Oscar-nominated film about his life.
But during a recent renovation of England’s Bletchley Park – a covert code-breaking site during the war – 70-year-old notes written by Turning were found stuffed into the roof of Hut 6, where he and his colleagues did most of their work. That’s right. While most clandestine intelligence papers were usually ordered to be destroyed, these were used to plug up drafty holes. Yes, seriously.
The notes, some of which are still indecipherable, have been repaired and will be seen in an exhibit at the Bletchley Park museum in March. But this isn’t the only work of Turing’s that’s made a splash of late.
A 56-page journal written by Turing during his time at Bletchley Park is being auctioned off by Bonhams on April 13 in New York as part of its Fine Books and Manuscripts sale. The auction house said in a release that they expect the notebook to be purchased for more than a million dollars, and a portion of sale will go to charity.