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Zygalski sheets: Polish codebreaking and the role of reconstruction in the Top Secret exhibition at the Science Museum
A reflection on reconstructing Zygalski sheets, a manual grid-based system used by the Polish Cipher Bureau and Bletchley Park to decrypt German Enigma cipher messages, for the Top Secret exhibition at the Science Museum Group from 2019 to 2022.
Calling on the Science Museum’s First World War exhibition Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care, this article outlines the challenges of curating a coherent display within such a vast context. It also explores how the narrative and interpretive approaches taken were influenced by an earlier, unrealised proposal – one whose bold concept was reflected in the rewarding and sometimes unexpected qualities that emerged in the final exhibition.
This article addresses how and why the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM), as a hub of research and education and with its multidisciplinary membership, became active in lantern projection, circulation and popularisation as a scientific teaching practice in First World War Britain.