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Housing Options for Collections: Gates Globe Collection

Instructions and guidelines for requesting housings from Collections Conservation and Housings

Gates Globe Collection


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.


  • A condition survey of the entire collection was conducted before housing.
  • This documented bibliographic information, physical description, condition of major components, and measurements (used to create housings).
  • Information from the survey was also used to determine conservation priorities, should treatment of these objects be available in the future. 


  • Custom boxes were made using the Kasemake automated box machine.
  • The standard box design for majority a of the small-medium globes consisted of a 2-piece box with a drop-front wall and a removable inner tray for easier access. 
  • Volara  and Ethafoam  and "board." bumpers were added to secure the globes in place within the box.
  • Special accommodations were made for unique or damaged globes. E.g. custom supports, modifications to the prototype box to include additional components, such as name plates and accessories.

Selected Globes & Housings Gallery

5" Embroidered Terrestrial Globe
Ann Baker (1801-1888)
Westtown School, Pennsylvania, 1818

2.75" Standing Terrestrial Globe
Charles Francios Delamarche (1740-1817)
Paris c. 1790

9.5" Orrery on an Ebonized Stand
Charlies Dien [attrib.]
Paris c. 1850

10" Wood Orrery
Felix Delamarche/Charles Dien [attrib.]
Paris c. 1840

Gates Pocket Globes


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.

Gates Pocket Globe Gallery

Terrestrial pocket globe in case

Pocket globe with metal clasp

Fosshape cradle support 


  • Components of the 3-piece inner tray constructed from corrugated board. 
  • The Fosshape cradle is lined with Polypropylene and inserted into the tray.
  • Excess material is concealed by a corrugated lid that fits over the tray. 


Constructed inner tray with Fosshape cradle insert

Completed 2-piece drop front box with removable tray, Fosshape cradle, and cotton pull tab to easily remove the tray. 

Standardized labeling affixed to the outside of the box to improve handling and retrieval of individual items.

Alternate Accomodations

  • Unlike the pocket globes, this globe came with a small wooden base and required additional housing accommodations.
  • The resulting housing is a 2-piece drop front box with two removable trays.
  • The nested globe tray is stacked atop a smaller tray for the wooden base.
  • The bottom compartment was built up with corrugated walls that were custom-fitted around the smaller base tray.