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Map Department

Collection of globes

Globes are cartographic models of the sky, the earth, and other celestial bodies.

The map department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin holds a collection of more than 500 globes as well as globe-like items like tellurions or orrerys.

Only a few items from the early times of the library have remained, most were included in the collection only after World War II. Therefore the history of globes before 1800 can be exemplified by only eleven original items, as there are for example the celestial globe of Gerhard Mercator from the year 1541 and the extremely rare terrestrial globe of the Brothers Sanuto from ca. 1575. Pairs of globes, consisting of matched terrestrial and celestial globes, are represented by one pair each from the publishing houses of Johannes Janssonius (Amsterdam), Matthäus Greuter (Rome) and Johann Gabriel Doppelmayer (Nuremberg). The focus of the collection lies on the time after 1800, 450 globes from this period being part of the collection.