Flickr-Based Cryptographic Photo Collections

You know how things work on the Internet.  A search for something in Google displays a link, which leads to another page, which leads to a third, etc.  Before you know it, you’ve discovered goldmines you never knew existed.

NationalCryptologicMuseumThis past week I searched for “PURPLE” in Google’s image database (I think that’s what I did — it was oh so many link clicks ago :-)).  Perusing the booty uncovered a link to a link to a link etc. until I chanced upon some cryptographically-related photo collections on Flickr.  I have spent many an hour since enjoying the eye candy there and in other locations.  I’d like to share some of these sites with you.

Brewbooks: Trip to the National Cryptologic Museum 13 Feb 2009

This treasure trove by J Brew resides on Flickr, with the cryptologic-related photos beginning here.  Get ready for an abundance of “eye candy” by an extremely talented photographer (check out his other photo collections to convince yourself you’re in the presence of a master).  The photographs are incredibly clear, allowing you to read book titles, exhibit text, and see precise details of devices.

Mr. Brew (here’s his photo) has kindly provided very descriptive texts for all of the photos, enabling you to learn a great amount of information while feasting your eyes on them.  In addition, many of the photos have hotspots: position your cursor over the hotspots for more detailed descriptions.  Run it as a slide show for the best photographic clarity.

Here’s a list of photos that caught my fancy:

Brew’s photos of book shelves of the library of the National Cryptologic Museum (starting here) had me salivating.  His photos are crystal clear, sharp enough to make out many of the titles, of which I mention those classic texts that caught my eye:

  • Photo #1
    • The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined (WF and E Friedman)
    • The Puzzle Palace (Bamford)
    • Bazeries Military Cipher (Rosario Candela?)
    • Yardleygrams (Herbert O Yardley)
    • Enigma (Wladyslaw Kozaczuk)
    • Elementary Cryptanalysis (Helen F Gaines)
    • The Codebreakers (Kahn)
  • Photo #2
    • An issue of Cryptologia
  • Photo #3
    • Language-related books
    • Dictionaries
    • Several of Kahn’s books
    • The Story of Magic (Frank B. Rowlett)
  • Photo #4
    • Intelligence-related books
  • Photo #5
    • Cryptanalysis for Microcomputers (Caxton Foster)
    • Dalla scitala all’Enigma (“From the Skytale to the Enigma”, Italian), Filippo Sinagra, 2001 (see review in Cryptologia)
    • L’art de déchiffrer. Traité de déchiffrement du XVIIe siècle, J. P.  Devos et H. Seligman, 1967.
  • Photo #6:
    • Un problème de cryptographie et d’histoire (General Cartier, 1938)
    • An Annotated Bibliography of Cryptography (David Shulman, 1978)
    • Cryptology (Beutelspacher, Albrecht, The Mathematical Association of America)
    • Codes and Ciphers (D’Agapeyeff)
    • Précis de cryptographie moderne (Charles Eyraud, 1953)
  • Photo #7: Computer-related cryptography
  • Photo #8
    • Red Sun of Nippon (novel by Herbert O Yardley)
    • Applied Cryptology, Cryptographic Protocols, and Computer Security Models, Richard A. Demillo (Editor)
    • In Code: A Mathematical Journey (Flannery)
    • Decrypted Secrets (F L Bauer)
  • Photos #9-13: Selecta of Mathematical Papers

Military Cryptanalytics Part I

Uploaded to Flickr by “Travelin’ Librarian”, these are eight photos from this classic written by Friedman and Callimahos.

Who’s Who in American Cryptology

These photos (by austinmills) constitute excellent biographies of American cryptologic luminaries.

I’m sure this selection of photo collections only touches the tip of the iceberg.  As such, I believe they will be of interest to fellow amateur cryptologists.

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2 Responses to Flickr-Based Cryptographic Photo Collections

  1. Gee, Moshe,

    Why do you do things like that? You ruin my evenings and I’m obliged to surf myself nuts on these great links. We need a bot that automatically surfs for crypto stuff and sends it to our printer, so that we can enjoy the vast internet knowledge from our couch. Until than, we’ll have to stare ourselves blind on our computer screen, looking for your great pics.

    Keep on tracking them!

  2. mosherubin says:

    Hi Dirk,

    Somehow I think I should be apologizing but can’t bring myself to do it 😉 ! You’re one to talk — I’ve spent _many_ enjoyable hours back-reading your web site, blog, and “Picture of the Month” page, so I feel we’re even now :-).

    I’m glad you enjoyed the blog entry. I see blogs as reversing the process of entropy on the Web. There’s so much wonderful information (in our case, cryptologic- and cryptanalytical-related) spread out all over the place. The purpose of our blogs is to reduce the entropic disorder by collecting the information for others to consume and enjoy. Glad to be aboard!

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