Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My long term goal as a collector of globes

     Collecting seems to be such a embedded behavior, what child does not have a collection of something. I remember as a child I collected many things stickers, fossils, and of course baseball cards, probably with some Garbage Pail kids thrown in for good measure!  Many a psychoanalysis has been done on why we collect. Are collectors neurotic, or filling a void?  Who knows....who cares, I think there are as many reasons to collect as there are collectors out there. I wonder if I still have those Garbage Pail kids?......
     So why am I collecting globes? What is the goal of my collection?  I've been giving this a lot of thought lately.  Do I want the biggest collection of globes, No. Do I want the best collection of globes? No.  Do I feel a need to preserve history? Yes.  But I think there is a lot more going on here.  What wonderful objects, these globes....... art really, the choice of color, materials, and design all lend a sculptural nature to globes.  Science, let's not forget the scientific aspect of these functional tools. Historic, ah yes from workmanship, to outdated political boundaries, to missing places. A delight, a reminder that our knowledge of Earth's geography is very new compared to how long we've inhabited it.  Is geography even taught in school anymore?  Come to think of it was it even a subject when I was in school?  I really don't recall geography as a stand alone subject. Social studies covered part of it, Earth science another part, and that was it, here is a great article on the subject: Transforming Geography in our schools but I digress....
     That does not answer my self asked question.....where am I going with these objects?
In my mind I want to assemble a representative sample of globe making from 1830 until 1950 from Wilson to Weber I'd like to call it.  I see a collection in 20 years of about 30 to 40 globes, and I'll probably never cross the 50 mark. I can't think of needing more than that to meet my goal, of course goals can change......
     I think that just owning globes is 1/2 the collection, also necessary, are catalogs, ads, and manuals for various globes, and companies. These ephemeral items put context to a collection. There were so many school supply houses and department stores that over labeled globes made by the big Chicago globe makers. It would be great to own ads and catalogues that feature globes. Sometimes this material is harder to find than the globes themselves, and that's really saying something.
     I want to take a moment and write a list of globes that I'm looking for to fill out my collection, I hesitate to do this at all because I don't want anyone to think that they need the same globes, the beauty of collecting is it's individual aspect. No two collectors are alike.  So here is a partial list of missing links.

  • A Wilson globe
  • A Hollbrook globe
  • An Andrews globe
  • A Schedler globe
  • A Trippensee planetarium
  • A Weber Costello Airplane base globe
  • An example of a lighted globe
  • A great Chicago globe from the teens
  • A globe not yet known to me...???
This is just a partial list of what I'm looking for, I'm open minded, and realistic I know that a list like this takes time, money and patients, it is also fairly generic as I'm not necessarily looking for specific models, but I do have favorites.
     Being patient is difficult, at least I find it difficult, I find that I work very hard to not add somthing to my collection that is marginal, all the while wondering if I'd made the right decision, but there are really no wrong decisions.  A book collector once told me " buy what you love, and buy the best you can afford" sage advice then, valuable advice now.
   I'm currently reading a charming book titled " Do not sell at Any Price" a look at those few collectors of 78 records, it seems, 78 collectors are a small subset of a larger record collecting culture. I can't help but draw a connection between globe collectors, and the larger group of map collectors out there. Are we more intense? more focused? Well in my opinion yes and no, we are no more intense, but our focus is probably greater, our collections are sometimes harder to build, we are limited by supply, and space much more than many map collectors.
     So what to do once my collection is filled in and I have a nice representative sample of globes?  I think it's important to share it with others who might have an interest, such as occurs with this blog, but on another level I think at some point what good is a collection like this if only I can enjoy it?  Questions for the future I guess.

P.S. A great quote I once herd " what's the difference between collecting and hoarding? Curation."

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