Author Topic: Bletchley Park archive  (Read 3669 times)

Thursday Next

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Bletchley Park archive
« on: January 28, 2011, 02:31:06 pm »
I saw on the BBC website yesterday that the Bletchley Park archive is being scanned to go online for historians and amateurs to transcribe as part of a "citizen science" project.

Does anybody know if this is going to be a Zooniverse project?  I'm not planning on leaving Old Weather while there's still logs to transcribe, but it might be something to think about for when the logs come to an end.

Su

ElisabethB

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Re: Bletchley Park archive
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2011, 05:17:28 pm »
No idea !
Maybe the powers that be could enlighten us !  ;D

cyzaki

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Re: Bletchley Park archive
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 05:29:16 pm »
I have to say that I'll be jumping ship immediately if there's a chance of transcribing Bletchley Park archives! I love that place!  ;D

Janet Jaguar

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Re: Bletchley Park archive
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2011, 08:32:24 pm »
From the wrong side of the Atlantic, what is Bletchley Park?

cyzaki

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Re: Bletchley Park archive
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2011, 08:40:21 pm »
It's where all our secret code breaking was done during WW2. Alan Turing and co. And where what is arguably the first computer was invented. And where Enigma was broken. And suchlike.

Janet Jaguar

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Re: Bletchley Park archive
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2011, 08:43:32 pm »
Wow! 
I think I want to stay with OW because there's more involvement of US ships and things, and a more global exposure to history.  But that does sound like a fun thing to try if OW can't get funding for more ships.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 08:49:32 pm by Janet Jaguar »

cyzaki

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Re: Bletchley Park archive
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2011, 08:47:39 pm »
It's amazing to think that records might become publically available - up until very recently nobody who had worked there said anything about what happened there, or what they had done during the war. There's even a true story about a couple who met and married after the war, and only realised a few years ago that they had both been at Bletchley Park at the same time.

mutabilitie

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Re: Bletchley Park archive
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2011, 08:53:04 pm »
Hmm, am I the only one who thinks that it'll probably be less fun to actually transcribe, though? I mean, what I love about the ship logs is that it's something relatively accessible, i.e. even if I start out not having much of a clue, it's comparatively easy to pick up the knowledge necessary to understand what is going on.
With the Bletchley documents, that may not be the case, though, and I think in the long run I'd probably prefer transcribing something I understand to transcribing something which may be slightly more exciting in theory but less accessible to me...

cyzaki

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Re: Bletchley Park archive
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2011, 09:08:30 pm »
True, and I did think of that. But the ships I've been on have mostly been endless weather data with very rare interesting events, so I don't think it'd be much different to that. And I have always been hugely interested in the work that went on at Bletchley Park, so I'd be intrinsically more interested in transcribing things from there, than ships which I have never had any interest in before starting this project.

mutabilitie

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Re: Bletchley Park archive
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2011, 12:37:10 am »
True, and I did think of that. But the ships I've been on have mostly been endless weather data with very rare interesting events, so I don't think it'd be much different to that. And I have always been hugely interested in the work that went on at Bletchley Park, so I'd be intrinsically more interested in transcribing things from there, than ships which I have never had any interest in before starting this project.
Fair enough.:)

Haywain

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Re: Bletchley Park archive
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2011, 01:01:49 am »
It's amazing to think that records might become publically available - up until very recently nobody who had worked there said anything about what happened there, or what they had done during the war. There's even a true story about a couple who met and married after the war, and only realised a few years ago that they had both been at Bletchley Park at the same time.

We did understand how to keep secrets in those days!  Fascinating place

Janet Jaguar

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Re: Bletchley Park archive
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2011, 01:10:54 am »
If they were all under the same 60-year seal our logs were, then this is nearly the first time anyone could open them.  I wouldn't be surprised to find out that there's a whole second library under the century seal that's put on Naval Courts records.

Which means all these people that said nothing are only just finding out that they can talk at all.  Might be some interesting stories to record.

cyzaki

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Re: Bletchley Park archive
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2011, 08:51:41 am »
I can highly recommend a visit to Bletchley Park for anyone who is interested - I've been there a couple of times, it's an amazing place. It's always struggling for funds too, which is awful when you consider that it did so much to help shorten the war, and to aid the development of computers!

DJ_59

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Re: Bletchley Park archive
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2011, 12:53:21 am »

It's definitely on my bucket list.  They pulled off miracles in that place.

I just finished a book about a group of American soldiers, known as the Alamo Scouts, who were used as MacArthur's own private intelligence gathering unit (because he was notoriously paranoid about anything attached to the Joint Chiefs, so he didn't trust G2).  They did a lot of incredible things, often right under the noses of the Japanese, and never lost a man.  But they weren't even allowed to talk about it until 1988.  Not even allowed to wear the unit's shoulder insignia and gather together.  Or even tell their families what they did in the war.  Can you imagine?  Apparently, "Classifed" means do not take this order lightly.


Janet Jaguar

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Re: Bletchley Park archive
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2011, 01:01:45 am »
I had a friend who was a USN frogman in VietNam and a very good photographer, also from the navy.  He never said anything about what he did for them - but I can guess what  kind of thing they wanted with an underwater photographer in a war zone.  He did tell me that every few years a plain-clothed gov't official would show up in their home and remind him he wasn't allowed to talk about it.  He said they'd come home and find him sitting in their locked and empty house.  Now THAT's scary!