UK technology entrepreneur Matt Crotty, a trustee of The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) at Bletchley Park, has donated "up to £1 million" in matching funds to further the development of this historic museum.
The "up to" means the funds will not arrive in one chunk. Crotty has offered to match incoming donations up to the £1 million level. If you donate £10 to TNMOC (hint hint), it will get another £10 from Crotty, and with luck the museum will end up £2 million better off.
TNMOC is not part of the government-funded network of museums, such as the Science Museum, but a community effort that operates on minimal funds. It was part of the movement to rescue Bletchley Park, the home of World War II codebreaking, for the nation. However, it already has the world's largest collection of working historic computers. It includes the Colossus Mark II rebuild led by the late Tony Sale, and the Harwell Dekatron or WITCH, which is now the world's oldest working digital computer.
Crotty described the Museum's development as an exceptional opportunity that comes once in a lifetime. "I have watched this organisation grow and make astonishing achievements with very limited funding," he said. "My decision to donate has also been motivated by the increasing public awareness of the significance of digital heritage and the role and understanding of it can play in inspiring current and future generations to become engineers and computer scientists."
Crotty is chairman of InsightSoftware.com, which develops software for users of Oracle's E-Business Suite and Oracle-owned JD Edwards programs. InsightSoftware.com sponsored TNMOC's new software gallery, which opened in June.
TNMOC has received support from a few big companies including IBM and Google UK. However, its income is minuscule compared to the money generated in the UK not just by IBM and Google but by other giant American technology corporations such as Apple and Microsoft. Between them, they have more than $200 billion in the bank.
Crotty's £1 million is the biggest donation TNMOC has ever received. While it's a huge amount for an individual, it's only the average price of a house in Camden. It's quite a bit less than the projected £650 million cost of Google's new headquarters in Camden.