Hunt-Lenox Globe in 3D

zoomed in etching of a ship with a person at the front

This post was originally published on the Digital Scholarship Lab’s website.

Hunt-Lenox Globe
A photo of the Hunt-Lenox globe.

The Digital Scholarship Lab collaborated with the Lazarus Project to produce a 3D model of the New York Public Library’s Hunt-Lenox Globe, which dates from ca. 1510. Considering the size of the globe–it is only 5 inches in diameter–the 3D model not only facilitates access to the historic object but it also allows viewers to explore details of the globe otherwise hidden by its size and the bronze armillary sphere that contains it.

The Lazarus Project has recently imaged the Globus Jagellonicus from the Jagiellonian University Museum in Krakow, of which the DSL has also produced a 3D model, and is planning to image the Erdapfel from the Germanic Museum in Nuremberg. Ultimately this will result in 3D representations of all three of the world’s oldest known terrestrial globes.

Expanding capacity for 3D representations of cultural heritage objects

As a means of providing access to these artifacts, the DSL is expanding upon the 3D viewer originally built for the Ward Project to add features such as VR capability and annotations. The goal is to produce a presentation platform designed for 3D representations of cultural heritage objects that allows for virtual “guided exhibits” of the objects as well as independent exploration. The expanding toolset is designed to provide domain experts with the ability to uncover surface information about an object and disseminate their findings to a wider audience.

A rendering of the Hunt-Lenox globe in the DSL's 3D viewer.
A rendering of the Hunt-Lenox globe in the DSL’s 3D viewer.

Features of the 3D Viewer

Selections of the Hunt-Lenox Globe in the DSL’s 3D Viewer

Detailed view of the globe highlighting text that reads, "Here are dragons."
“hic sunt dracones” (here are dragons)

Dynamic lighting tools to highlight areas on the object

Tools of 3D reviewer that highlights an etched fish

Analyzing tools help viewers explore textures. Can you find the shipwreck?

Lighting options on the 3D viewer reveal details not readily apparent on the original.

Applying the 3D viewer's lighting tools to highlight details on the globe

Samuel Henderson, XR Specialist

Sam in all black looking at camera

Samuel is a sophomore majoring in Computer Science who enjoys creating apps and games using Unity Engine. He is an international student from Zimbabwe. His hobbies include playing chess, fishing, hiking, playing video games, and he makes a delicious naan bread.

Muhammed El-Sayed, XR Developer

Muhammed El-Sayed (’23) is a Karp Library Fellow alum and XR Developer for Studio X. He is a current E5 undergraduate student from Egypt. After working with a team to develop a 2D historical game based on the settlement of Bermuda by the British, he has picked up developing in the Unity Engine in his free time, participating in GameJams and his own personal projects such as web and app development.

Angie Cortez, XR Researcher

headshot of Karp Library Fellow Angie Cortez.
headshot of Karp Library Fellow Angie Cortez.

Angie Cortez (’24) is a Karp Library Fellow for Studio X. She is a junior double majoring in Political Science and Comparative Literature. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing video games, and watching movies!

Libby Braun, UX Designer

Libby with light up saber

Libby Braun (’25) is the UX Designer for Studio X. She is a Digital Media Studies major from Rhode Island. She’s interested in exploring UX Design and having fun in VR! Her hobbies include cooking, reading, and crocheting!

Ayiana Crabtree, XR Research Fellow & XR Specialist

Ayiana Crabtree is an XR Research Fellow and XR Specialist for Studio X through the Karp Library Fellowship program. She is a student at the University of Rochester (‘22) majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and minoring in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. She has previously worked as a Library Intern for the Robbins Library and the Career Exploration in Librarianship and Mentoring (CEILAM) Program at the University of Rochester. She is also the current president of the Anime Interest Floor. In her free time, she enjoys playing games on the Oculus Quest 2 and reading. 

Immersive Technologies Resource Library

large bookshelves with tons of books.

This Zotero group library provides a range of sources on extended reality from use cases by discipline, to creation platforms & tools, to special topics for immersive technologies such as accessibility and bias.

We consulted LCSH and ANZSRC controlled vocabularies in organizing the library’s collections. If you have trouble navigating this resource or have questions or suggestions, please send us a message via our feedback form.

Special thanks to Maggie Dull, Director of Metadata Services, for consulting on this project!

Other Resources

The Educators in VR group has created a similar Zotero library.