The Gates Globe collection of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library consists of nearly 50 unique objects, ranging from English desk globes and embroidered globes, to orreries (mechanical models of the solar system) and pocket globes (see below). The collection was gifted to the Beinecke in 2018 by Laura Gates, the wife of Stephen Gates '68. Mr. Gates was an avid cartographic collector and a generous supporter of the library. Upon acquiring the globes, CCH undertook a large-scale project to survey the condition and house the entire collection. By the Fall of 2019, the entire collection was successfully housed and transferred to Beinecke's on-site storage facility, and is now available to researchers, students, and staff to view or study.
Among the Gates Collection, there are 9 English pocket globes (1675-1868) that range from 2.75-5" in circumference. Each globe sits comfortably in a fish skin case that has metal clasps to hold it shut. Many of the globes depict the geographical and topographical features of the Earth, while the interior of the cases detail celestial maps and projections. Due to the fragile nature of these objects, a housing solution was created to gently cradle and support them when stored while also providing easy access and handling.
The completed housing consists of a 2-piece drop front box with a 3-piece removable tray and a Fosshape cradle support (see Fig. 2). Fosshape and "board." is a non-woven polyester material that is commonly used in textile conservation to construct mounts for garments. It was identified as the optimal material for the cradle as it is not only pliable and light weight but can also be readily cut and sewn. Fosshape becomes rigid when heated or steamed, which is a feature that allowed conservation staff to easily conform the material to the shape of each pocket globe. The cradle was lined with a smooth Polypropylene fabric to prevent the metal clasps of the case from catching on the fuzzy, felt-like texture of the Fosshape.
Fig. 2 - Completed pocket globe housing.