Google is doing its part to help preserve a piece of computing history. The company has donated £550,000 ($850,000 US) to restore Bletchley Park, the famous World War II-era site where the German Enigma code was cracked and most of modern cryptography and computing theory was developed. The donation will go towards repairs of the site, since some of its structures are in danger of collapse.
Most of the allied code breaking effort during WWII was concentrated in Bletchley Park, and the site also houses the National Museum of Computing, which is dedicated to the contributions to computing made by the men and women at Bletchley Park both during and after the war.
Google’s contribution came from a $100 million fund the company set up for charitable donations. The fund had previously acted to save the papers of famous Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing who, after the war, went on to become one of the most famous figures in early computing and artificial intelligence.
While Google’s donation is a significant step in the right direction, the Bletchley Park trust still needs to raise funds for a $1.3 million match grant that would be used to restore the huts where most of the actual code breaking took place during the war. This project would be the first step in a $23.2 million plan by the Bletchley Park Trust to restore the entire site and create new high-tech education facilities at the park.