Alan Turing papers expected to fetch £500,000 at auction

A collection of Alan Turing's papers is set to fetch up to £500,000 at a Christie's auction later this month.

Turing, seen as the father of modern computing and responsible for helping crack the Nazis' "unbreakable" Enigma code machines, died in 1954, with much of his work not widely acknowledged.

The Turing papers up for auction include offprints of his first published paper and works on building computational devices and artificial intelligence.

One of the Enigma code machines Turing helped to break is also up for sale in a separate auction, and it is set to fetch up to £50,000.

Another notable computing auction coming up at Christie's is the sale of one of the first Apple computers - which could fetch up to £150,000, according to the auctioneer.

One of only 200 original Apple-1 computers ever built, the lot package includes a motherboard, a letter from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs thanking the purchaser, an extra cassette interface card, all manuals, and a cassette tape containing the Basic programming language.

The lot also includes the original box with a return address of the garage where Jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak built the first units.

All the lots go under the hammer in London on 23 November.

Picture credit: Bob Lord,

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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