Donations to help save UK's computer heritage

IBM and PGP contribute to Bletchley campaign

Two £25,000 donations by major technology companies could kick-start the campaign to keep the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley running.

The campaign to raise around £7 million to run the museum has received a major boost with the news that computer giants IBM and encryption specialists PGP have contributed $50,000 each.

The two companies' contributions are all the more fitting considering the code-breaking and computers nature of the museum, with Bletchley the site where the German wartime code Enigma was famously cracked, handing the Allies a huge tactical advantage.

Legacy

"It's an important part not only of computing, but of cryptology and analysis," IBM's Andrew Hart told the BBC.

"We're getting involved to help preserve what is a fundamental part of our history.

"I think it's very important to act to preserve this because a lot of people think this equipment is obsolete, so a lot of this material is being lost and destroyed at an incredible rate."

The National Museum of Computing boats many exhibits including Colossus, a competitor for the role of the first computer, a history of the humble calculator and a showcase of computer icons through the 1970s and 1980s as home computing took off.