May 19, 2022

Digitization Projects: “British Library to Put Rare Globes Online”

From The Guardian:

What better way to see the world in these travel-restricted times than from the comfort of your sofa? The British Library is this month putting on a digital display of some of its more hidden treasures, including historic globes which will be available to explore online.

The library has about 150 historic globes in its vast collection of books, manuscripts and maps. Most are so delicate they are rarely seen by visitors.

On 26 March the library will launch the first fruits of an ambitious two-year project to digitise the globes, allowing people to see them in incredible close-up detail.


Seven globes will go online initially, including what is possibly the earliest miniature pocket globe, made by Joseph Moxon in 1679, which would have been seen as a gentlemanly status symbol.

Other globes will include Richard Cushee’s 1730 terrestrial globe which has California as an island and the northwest of north America labelled “unknown parts”.

The globes will be available on the British Library website. There will also be an augmented reality version of the globes, available via the Sketchfab app.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.