Turing Sources

See the Alan Turing Home Page for a guide to this website.

The Alan Turing Bibliography

compiled by
Andrew Hodges
author of
Alan Turing: the Enigma

Alan Turing's papers

Much of Turing's work was not published in the formal sense of appearance in a scientific journal of the day. So it is not straightforward to give a listing of everything he wrote. There are internal reports, unfinished work completed by others, typescripts of talks, and papers which were never intended for publication, being top secret at the time of their composition and for long afterwards. These Bibliography pages are intended to give a reasonably complete listing of material written in the form of scientific papers, but they do not include letters written to personal colleagues and various other exceptional items.

Almost everything Turing wrote is now accessible on-line in some form, much of it in the Turing Digital Archive, which makes available scanned versions of the physical papers held in the archive at King's College, Cambridge University. See these notes on Turing archives and photographs.

These Bibliography pages give a traditional listing of papers and printed material, but also direct links to on-line versions.

See also the BibNet bibliography maintained by Nelson H. F. Beebe, University of Utah.

Papers collected in books:

The Collected Works of A. M. Turing

The first three volumes of the annotated Collected Works of A. M. Turing appeared in 1992. These are:

  • Mechanical Intelligence, ed. Darrel Ince, ISBN 0-444-88058-5
  • Morphogenesis, ed. P. T. Saunders, ISBN 0-444-88486-6
  • Pure Mathematics, ed. J. L. Britton, ISBN 0-444-88059-3
The fourth volume appeared in 2001. Originally the editor was to be Robin Gandy, but after his death in 1995 the work was brought to completion by his colleague C. E. M. (Mike) Yates. This is
  • Mathematical Logic, eds. R. O. Gandy and C. E. M. Yates, ISBN 0-444-50423-0.

All were published by North-Holland (Amsterdam; London). The overall editor of the series was P. N. Furbank, Alan Turing's literary executor until his death in June 2014.

It is a pity that the Collected Works were so inaccessible. At over $100 each, even libraries could not afford them. The failure of printed publication to make Turing's oeuvre accessible is an indication of the serious role that the Internet now plays in scholarship.

If you are feeling rich, however, you can order the Collected Works of A. M. Turing from Amazon.com: Mechanical Intelligence, Morphogenesis, Pure Mathematics, Mathematical Logic.

Alan Turing: His Work and Impact

This new 944-page compendium of Turing's papers and modern commentaries, edited by S. Barry Cooper and Jan van Leeuwen, appeared in July 2013. Although not cheap, it is far more accessible than the Collected Works. It does not contain all Turing's papers, not even all the published papers, but its commentaries are much more extensive.

Order Alan Turing: his Work and Impact from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

The Essential Turing

A selection of Turing's papers by the philosopher B. Jack Copeland (2004).

Copeland's editorial comments are controversial. See my detailed review of this edition in a special edition of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society.

Order The Essential Turing from Amazon.com

The Undecidable

In 1965, the distinguished logican Martin Davis first published this collection of the classic papers on mathematical logic. Turing's principal papers appear amidst those of Gödel, Church, Post and others. The book appeared in a new Dover edition in 2004.

Order The Undecidable from Amazon.com

Alan Turing's Systems of Logic: The Princeton Thesis

To mark the centenary in 2012, Princeton University Press published Turing's Princeton Ph.D. thesis, subsequently published as Systems of Logic Based on Ordinals (1939). Introductory essays by Andrew W. Appel and Solomon Feferman are included. See the PUP page or order from Amazon here.

A full listing of Turing's papers

The listing is too long for a single web-page, so it has been split between four. The four pages correspond to the four volumes of the Collected Works. As the editors point out, this division is to some extent arbitrary, and you may have to look at more than one page to find a topic. But it is more helpful than listing all the papers by chronological order.

Other primary works

The following items are not works of Alan Turing himself, but are surveys which in different ways include material from sources very close to him.
  • Alan Mathison Turing, M. H. A. Newman, in Biographical Memoirs of the Royal Society, 1955.

    This is reproduced in Part III of the Mathematical Logic volume of the Collected Works, and (typographically reset) in the Impact volume.

    Scan of the printed article in the Turing Digital Archive.

  • A handwritten letter from Robin Gandy to M. H. A. Newman, June 1954. Gandy summarised Turing's unfinished work as it stood at the time of his death, including a description of Turing's ideas about quantum mechanics. The text of this letter appears in Part III of the Mathematical Logic volume of the Collected Works, preceded by a preface by me, available on this website.

    Scan of Robin Gandy's letter in the Turing Digital Archive

  • Alan M. Turing, Sara Turing, Heffers, Cambridge (1959). This was republished by Cambridge University Press in 2012, together with an introduction by Martin Davis and a further memoir by John Turing, Alan Turing's brother. Order from Amazon.

  • The Universal Turing Machine, a Half-Century Survey, ed. R. Herken, Kammerer & Unversagt, Hamburg, and Oxford University Press (1988). Part One of the volume contains important analytical articles on Turing's own work by leading logicians of his era:

    • Stephen C. Kleene, Turing's Analysis of Computability, and Major Applications of It
    • Robin Gandy, The Confluence of Ideas in 1936
    • Solomon Feferman, Turing in the Land of O(Z)
    • Martin Davis, Mathematical Logic and the Origin of Modern Computing.

    Martin Davis's book The Universal Computer (Norton, 2000) is an important development of the material in his article.

  • Codebreakers, F. H. Hinsley and Alan Stripp (eds.), Oxford University Press (1993), paperback edition with corrections (1994). This contains important articles on Turing's cryptanalytic contributions by his colleagues in the codebreaking work, in particular I. J. Good and Joan Murray.

The Alan Turing Bibliography:

Overview | Mechanical Intelligence | Pure Mathematics

Morphogenesis | Mathematical Logic plus cryptology

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Andrew Hodges