*This video shows insights of the 1st period display.
The ancient Greeks knew that the earth was round and imagined that it lay within a spherical universe. Such imagination and knowledge gave rise to the manufacture of globes. While celestial globes were produced as early as the Middle Ages, especially in the islamic world, terrestrial globes really developed from the Age of Exploration, as a means of disseminating the various discoveries of the world reported by Christopher Columbus and the other great navigators. Combining ancient legends and assumptions with the latest available information, the globes were an invitation to travel, to trade, and to explore new civilizations Encapsulating a historic vision of mankind's passions and knowledge, they are a vivid reflection of an age. Elaborate pieces of craftmanship, they also represented intellect, power, and wealth, and as such, were often featured as symbolic motifs in paintings.
Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd., in close collaboration with the National Library of France (BnF) through a skills-based patronage, has ensured the 3D digitization of pieces from the BnF's world-class collection of terrestrial and celestial globes. The resulting exhibition is a unique opportunity for a wide audience to discover this exceptional heritage of human knowledge. In all, ten globes and one historic document will be exhibited in two different phases. Visitors can enjoy an experience unique to Museum Lab through activities such as freely rotating or enlarging a 3D high-definition representation of the globes to discover the world as it was understood at the time of their manufacture, or virtually entering an 18th-century celestial globe and observing the constellations in a full 360° panorama. The new vistas afforded by digitization offer a chance to see the world once more as our predecessors saw it.