I’ve shared my experiences volunteering for the International Amateur Scan League so it should be no surprised I was thrilled to see this story from The Register. The idea has been fermenting at Bletchley Park, now a museum dedicated to preserving the critical role it served in the history of World War II, for five years. The first phase of the project is estimated to take around three years and result in millions of documents being made available online and released into the public domain.
According to the BBC, HP is providing equipment in the form of scanners and volunteers (yay!) will be providing the labor. The BBC article has much more detail on the project and the importance of Bletchely Park. I am especially intrigued by the notion that many of the documents to be scanned haven’t been seen or used since they were involved in the original analysis and code breaking when the center was active during the war.
Bletchley has been in the news most recently due to its various funding woes and the amazing efforts by some to preserve this bit of heritage shared by the fields of computing, cryptology and military intelligence. I hope that as they project gains steam, more people are made aware of the center’s importance, are able to make more personal connections with it, and hence funding to preserve it will become easier.