Located adjacent to the NSA headquarters, the National Cryptologic Museum is the National Security Agency’s open hand to the public, dedicated to showing and educating the general population on the practices of security intelligence in American history.
The role of American cryptology is a large one from the start of the American Revolutionary War to WWI Native American code talkers and the various devices agents have used throughout history. The practices of cryptology over the years have aided in the protection of national freedoms and rights, winning wars and protecting lives. Here you have the rare opportunity of looking into the history of secrets and see how the agents of the past worked to serve the country.
Thousands of artifacts including an 18th century cipher device are featured in dozens of exhibits and galleries. Learn about the development of biometrics such as fingerprint identification, touch a working German Enigma from WWII, experience 60 years of cryptology in the museum’s exhibits by decade, and more. There are features and highlights for every major American war including the Vietnam War, Korean War, and the Civil War.
Guided tours are especially thorough and an excellent option for adults and older students who are interested in the inner workings of the National Security Agency. In depth topics and exhibit highlights may be requested and the tours generally last an hour and a half.
The museum is open weekdays from 9-4 and every other Saturday, though it is closed on Sundays and national holidays.