Secrets Revealed at NSA's National Cryptologic Museum - Atlas Obscura
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Annapolis Junction, Maryland

Secrets Revealed at NSA's National Cryptologic Museum

Break codes and travel through cryptologic history on this behind-the-scenes, after-hours adventure.

Visit the only public museum in the world where you can code and decode messages using an authentic World War II Enigma machine. 

Opened in 1993 as a collection of National Security Agency (NSA) employee mementos, the National Cryptologic Museum now houses thousands of rare unclassified and declassified artifacts.

Take a peek at a copy of Polygraphiae, the first book on cryptology published in 1518. Gander at Enigma, the so-called "unbreakable" cipher machine used by the German military during World War II. You can even marvel at SIGSALY, a replica of the 55-ton voice encryption communications system used by President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill. 

Join National Cryptologic Museum Curator Patrick Weadon, his team, and Atlas Obscura Society D.C. for a private, behind-the-scenes, after-hours tour that will delve into the history and mechanics of cryptology, from the Pre-American Revolutionary War to "hobo" survival codes during the Great Depression, and beyond. 

Guests will even be able to partake in a little spycraft of their own... 


  • The museum is accessible by car.  
  • For security reasons, photography is only permitted inside the museum. No photography will be allowed outside the building or of the surrounding areas.
  • No children under 12 years old please. 



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