A notebook once belonging to British mathematician Alan Turing sold for more than $1 million at an auction held yesterday (April 13) in New York, according to NPR.
The notebook contains 56 pages of Turing’s handwritten notes on mathematical and scientific equations that he worked on during his time at Bletchley Park, a British code-breaking site during WWII.
Turing is known for breaking the Enigma code, a secret mode of communication used by the Nazis. That kind of code-breaking may have shortened the War by as much as two years.
Robin Gandy, Turing’s student and a close friend, became his literary executor and the notebook was passed on to him. Gandy donated the Turing documents he had in his possession to King’s College in Cambridge in 1977, but kept the notebook. The Telegraph reports that it left Gandy’s possession through a private sale at Christie’s auction house in London last year.
Bonhams auction house says this is the first time one of Turing’s manuscript has gone public, but would not reveal who bought it.
Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, released last year and starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the role of the scientist, was based on Turing and his achievements during the War. It met significant success, winning several awards and earning Cumberbatch praise for his portrayal.
Turing’s death in 1954 from cyanide poisoning was labeled a suicide, but family and friends insisted it was an accident.