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Press Release | Oct. 22, 2010

NSA/CSS National Cryptologic Museum To Unveil Dr. David Kahn Collection

FORT MEADE, Md.  –  

What: Dr. David Kahn, prolific writer and historian on the art of cryptology, will be honored at a ceremony to commemorate his significant donation. The ceremony will include an unveiling and ribbon-cutting of the "Dr. David Kahn Collection."

When: Tuesday, 26 October, 2010 - 11:00 a.m. ceremony

Where: National Cryptologic Museum, located adjacent to the National Security Agency at Ft. Meade, Maryland. See for directions to the museum.


Dr. David Kahn, Historian

Frances Fleisch, Executive Director
National Security Agency

Judith Emmel, Associate Director for Strategic Communications
National Security Agency

Gene Becker, President
National Cryptologic Museum Foundation

Why: This unique collection includes 55 extremely rare books, such as Blaise de Vigenère's 1587 Traicté des Chiffres and personal papers, articles, correspondences, and interview notes he compiled during his years of research and scholarly writing. One of the rarest items donated is a signed and framed 1806 letter from Napoleon to his son Prince Eugene Napoleon. In the letter Napoleon instructed his son to continue to send his letters in code. Kahn acquired the letter in 1984 in a sale of rare authenticated documents by the Altman Company in New York.

The one-of-a-kind items in the Kahn Collection also include a telescript of his appearance on the Tonight Show (now on display as part of the NCM's "Cryptologic Treasures") and a manuscript of Herbert Yardley's once controversial American Black Chamber. Kahn donated his collection to the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation, who, in turn, transferred the items to the NCM. The NCMF was founded to help preserve the museum and regularly finds and passes on valuable treasures and artifacts from collectors to the NCM.

For more information contained in this release, please contact Marci Green, NSA/CSS Public and Media Affairs Office at or 301-688-6524.