About the archive
This website contains nearly 3,000 images of letters, photographs, newspaper articles, and unpublished papers by or about Alan Turing. The images were scanned from the collection of Turing papers held in the Archive Centre at King's College, Cambridge.
These images are subject to copyright restrictions. Also, for copyright reasons it was not possible to put all the items from the Turing papers on this website. The complete catalogue of all the items at King's is on-line, however, and it includes details of how the papers came to be in the King's College archives. The catalogue was jointly created by the King's College team and by the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists. The Turing Trust has also made a lot of important contributions to the archive at King's College.
You can arrange to visit the Archive Centre in person if you would like to look at any of the original documents.
About Alan Turing
Alan Mathison Turing was born on 23 June 1912, the son of Julius Mathison Turing, a civil servant in India, and (Ethel) Sara Turing, the daughter of Edward Waller Stoney, chief engineer of the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway. Alan's early life was spent with his brother John, living with the Ward family at St Leonards-on-Sea (near Hastings); his parents visited from India when they could. Alan was educated at Hazelhurst School, then Sherborne School. He won an Open Scholarship in Mathematics to King's College and matriculated in 1931.
He graduated in 1934 with distinction, and was awarded a Fellowship in 1935. This was followed by two years as a Visiting Fellow at Princeton; in 1936 the draft of his paper 'On Computable Numbers' was completed. Alan returned to King's in 1938. When war broke out he joined the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, where he was part of the team deciphering the Enigma machine. He was awarded an OBE in 1946 for his work.
After the War, Alan worked first at the National Physical Laboratory and then at Manchester University on the development of the computer from his first ideas in the early 1930s for a 'Turing machine'. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1951. In the early 1950s he was developing a theory of morphogenesis, a mathematical theory of organic growth. The work was left incomplete when he died, on 8 June 1954, at his house in Wilmslow, Cheshire.
- J. Copeland (ed.): The Essential Turing (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2004)
- B.J. Copeland (ed.): Alan Turing's Automatic Computing Engine: The Master Codebreaker's Struggle to Build the Modern Computer (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2005)
- Cora Diamond (ed.): Wittgenstein's Lectures on the Foundations of Mathematics (Cambridge, 1939 and The Harvester Press: Hassocks, Sussex, 1976). This contains AMT's contributions to discussions.
- Andrew Hodges: Alan Turing: the Enigma (Burnett Books Ltd.: London, 1983)
- Andrew Hodges: Turing: A Natural Philosopher (The Great Philosophers Series, Phoenix: London, 1997)
- Sara Turing: Alan M. Turing (Heffer: Cambridge, 1959).
Tips on using the site
Use the following methods:
The abbreviations used on the site are underlined with double grey lines, like this: AMS. If you hover your cursor over the abbreviation, a box will pop up telling you what the abbreviations stands for.
The image viewer on the site lets you zoom in and pan around images (see an example). You can also click the full screen icon () on the viewer to go to full screen mode. You will still have your viewer controls beneath the image in this mode. Just press 'Esc' or the full screen icon again to return to the normal view. The viewer requires Adobe Flash Player, which is free.
The Electronics and Computer Science department of the University of Southampton, the British Computer Society and the Institution of Electrical Engineers funded the project, with much help from the King's College Archive Centre.
The Southampton team were: Prof Tony Hey, Prof Wendy Hall, Dr Kirk Martinez, Gareth Hughes, Dr Gary Wills, Mark Weal and Nick Lamb. The King's team were: Jacky Cox, Ros Moad and Dr Jonathan Swinton.
Open Archive Initiative
Metadata from the archive is also available for harvesting by OAI-PMH compliant harvesters. The base URL for this archive is http://turing-archive.kings.cam.ac.uk/oai/
The website is hosted at King's College, Cambridge, and
maintained by the Archivist (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and Webmaster (email@example.com). Questions about the archive papers can be directed to:
Cambridge CB2 1ST
Tel: +44 (0)1223 331 444