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Codebreakers and Groundbreakers


Fitzwilliam Museum
Trumpington Street

Tel: 01223 332900

Add Codebreakers and Groundbreakers to your Itinerary

Enigma machine and Linear B tablet

A pioneering and interdisciplinary exhibition, Codebreakers and Groundbreakers will bring together, for the first time, the remarkable intellectual achievements and parallel narratives of two groups of ‘codebreakers’ working at the same time, but independently: those involved in breaking the Second World War codes and those who deciphered the ancient script of Linear B – Europe’s earliest comprehensible writing system.

In a display including an Enigma machine, a rare loan from GCHQ, and unique archival documents held at the University of Cambridge, the exhibition will explore and celebrate the genius of Second World War codebreakers such as Alan Turing and Bill Tutte; as well as Michael Ventris and John Chadwick (himself a Bletchley codebreaker) who deciphered Linear B. It will also encourage visitors to explore ‘codebreaking’ in all its forms.

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