The globe manuals explain how to use celestial and terrestrial globes to solve a wide variety of mathematical and astronomical problems, from determining the difference in time between two places to determining the “climate” (latitudinal zone) and character of distant places. These manuals beginning with the earliest and moving well into the 19th century deal primarily with a set of cosmographical problems and are beholden to the works of Ptolemy, Copernicus, Schöner, and Gemma Frisius. From the earliest manual in OML’s collection, Jean Boulenger’s Traicte d las Sphere du Monde, through several 18th century works including Blaeu’s ‘t Werkstellige der Sterre-Konst and Wright’s The Use of Globes to 20th century works such as the 1847 Lessons on the globes they all feature the same core lessons and exercises. These deal with astronomical, geographical, navigational, astrological, gnomonical and trigonometrical problems to be solved using a usually a pair of globes. A brief survey of the manual’s produces some interesting insights including the use of globes in the open air to show the effect of the suns shadow on various parts of the earth as well as the use of globes with maps to solve complex computation problems. One example of this in John Gregory’s 1671 The description and use of globes specifically tells the user to refer to the “planispherical map of Hondius” from 1627, a double hemisphere map of which only two sheets survive in the Staatsarchiv at Nuremberg. (Shirley, 342)
The digitization of these manuals is integral to OML’s entire globe digitization project, as it puts the globes in context to their original creation and scholarly use. Many of the manuals were produced by globe makers to be used with specific globes, while other were produced to help instruction in cosmographical and geographical education. Interestingly enough Lessons on the Use of Globes from 1847 begins “Our Public Schools have, at least many of them, been provided with Globes, which have hitherto been comparatively useless, for the want of a suitable manual…” this manual points out an interesting contradiction: while lamenting the lack of a suitable manual, the author of Lessons then provides the same cosmographical exercises related to the Doctrine of the Sphere that go back centuries. Through the digitization and posting of the globe manuals on OML’s website, as well as the University of Southern Maine’s Digital Commons, site which supports optical character recognition and is crawled by Google, OML will make these resources available for researchers and the public world wide.
"The ancient stories of the several stars and constellations shewing the poetical reasons why such various figures are placed in heaven, collected from Dr. Hood." 2nd edition, corrected and enlarged.
Advertisements on 8 preliminary pages, p. 102, p.164, include globes, maps, and books sold at the Senex shop & a synopsis of the doctrine of eclipses