Rare Alan Turing papers bought by Bletchley Park Trust

Discuss

6 Responses to “Rare Alan Turing papers bought by Bletchley Park Trust”

  1. rebdav says:

    In other news hero who saved the UK and helped end WW-II slowly tortured to death by his grateful nations government.

    • Anonymous says:

      @rebdav,

      Yeah, that’s pretty much par for the course. Governments, companies, hell even a few relationships I’ve been through.

      A significant portion of people are selfish, sociopathic creatures that care only for themselves and will suck others dry for all they can, when they need them. Once the victim has lost their use, they are cast aside, or worse as was Turing, persecuted and ultimately drive to death.

      It’s stories like Turing’s that keep me fighting the good fight, despite that it often makes my life harder( it certainly limits your career choices, let me tell you ). Not only do I believe it is the arch-imperative, but it also makes me feel I am doing something to not have let the Turings of the world die in vain.

    • trondmm says:

      Well, the nation didn’t know they had anything to be grateful for at the time. His work during the war was classified until the mid seventies, and even his family and his closest friends believed he was a coward that had secured himself a desk job to avoid the battlefield.

      Not that I condone chemical castration of homosexuals, of course.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good timing. I’m re-reading ‘Cryptonomicon’ (for the third time) and jus got to the part about Turing’s bicycle.

  3. Horace Rumpole says:

    Small correction: The offprints are journal articles published individually, rather than excerpts from books.

  4. ecologist says:

    This story is a little strange. With all due respect to Alan Turing (and he is due A LOT of it), this purchase is basically autograph-collecting. In the pre-photocopy, pre-pdf era, when one published an article in a scientific journal (and Rumpole is correct, these are articles, not books), one would receive (free, or by purchasing them) printed copies of the article. These would be distributed to anyone who asked for one. We were all equipped with pre-printed postcards for the purpose of requesting reprints (“Dear _____, I would appreciate a reprint of your article _____ published in ______ ….”). Turing and Newman may have been close colleagues, but giving reprints to someone is not at all unusual, nor evidence of particularly close relationship.

    So there is nothing particularly special about these reprints other than their provenance: notes scribbled on them by Newman, and Newman’s name written by Turing. Copies of the original journal publications of at least some of these seem to be available on the used book market for a few hundreds to a thousand dollars. The articles themselves, of course, are readily available on the web.

    There’s nothing wrong with autograph collecting, but the way the whole purchase is presented just seems a little strange.

    But the work was brilliant. Did I mention all due respect to Turing? Yes.

Leave a Reply