Security Encyclopedia

National Cryptologic Museum (NCM)

The National Cryptologic Museum (NCM) is a National Security Agency (NSA) facility in Annapolis Junction, Maryland that houses the US Intelligence Community’s cryptologic heritage.

Since 1993 the NCM has been open to the public, exhibiting artifacts and material relating to the application of cryptography including during wartime as allowed by the NSA. The collection includes thousands of artifacts and documents that reveal the cryptologic history attached to general history from the earliest days of America to the present. These include world wars, the Cold War, and all such conflicts however the information is useful in the commercial and academic spheres.

NCM admission is free and the facility is open every day except Sundays and federal holidays. The facility is known for the high calibre of its docents, many of whom are retirees from the US Intelligence Community.


“The National Cryptologic Museum exhibits include hardware devices that were used to encrypt and decrypt sensitive military messages throughout US history. When you visit, the docents also help put the history of SIGINT and HUMINT into perspective.”