DNP and Bibliothèque nationale de France Present the Exhibition "Globes in Motion" from February 19 to September 4, 2016

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd (DNP) and Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF, National Library of France) present "Globes in motion", an exhibition that allows visitors to discover and explore from a new perspective the historical terrestrial and celestial globes of the BnF's rich collection, taking advantage of the 3D digitization program carried out in Paris on 55 valuable pieces in the BnF's Maps and Plans Department. This is the first time such a comprehensive collection of globes has ever been 3D-digitized in the world.

Ten ancient globes, including those appearing as motifs in Vermeer's famous paintings The Geographer and The Astronomer, will be displayed free of charge at DNP Museum Lab (Tokyo) during two exhibition periods: the first from February 19 to May 22, and the second from June 3 to September 4. Next to the original BnF exhibits shown for the first time in Japan, visitors will be able to access contents edited on multimedia systems that enhance the 3D digital data obtained with new image acquisition tools developed by DNP, offering a unique and enjoyable opportunity to appreciate and explore the globes.

Exhibits and multimedia displays

Major Exhibits

1st Period: Hondius Celestial Globe          2nd Period: Welser Terrestrial Globe


Presentation Room

Next to the original exhibits, the visitor can admire the globes in 3D, thanks to a high-resolution 3D viewer utilizing digitized data. Enlarging and rotating functions allow smooth exploration of the 3D globes in their foremost details on 4K quality images. Commentary information on key features provides visitors with a deeper understanding of the exhibits.

Multimedia system "Stargazing: Exploring a celestial globe"

Celestial globes were a means for Westerners to represent the universe, with the Earth lying at the center of a constellation of stars and planets rotating around it. The visitor is invited to put on a head-mounted display to enter inside the Baradelle globe: the combination of 3D images and virtual reality technology enables observation of the stars in a full 360°panorama. Through this new visual, intuitive, and entertaining experience, the visitor will gain a better understanding of what it means to be inside a celestial globe.

Multimedia system "A Galaxy of globes to discover"

This multimedia system displays all 55 3D-digitized globes, accompanied with basic information. They can also be accessed through one of the ten themes available, thanks to a visual interface that promotes an intuitive comprehensive understanding of the collection.

General Information

BnF  ×  DNP Museum Lab

Exhibition "Globes in Motion"

Organized by: 

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP)

Co-organized by:

Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

With the cooperation of:

Japan Airlines (JAL)


DNP Gotanda Building 1F, 3-5-20 Nishi Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo

Exhibition periods:

1st Period: from Feb. 19, 2016 (Fri.) to May 22, 2016 (Sun.)

2nd Period: from June 3, 2016 (Fri.) to Sept. 4, 2016 (Sun.)

Opening hours:

Friday 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Closed from Monday to Thursday and on public holidays that fall on a Friday.

Booking and inquiries:

Admission free, reservation required.

- online:

- by telephone: +81 (0) 35435 0880, Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on weekday public holidays, during the end-of-year break, and the "Obon" summer holidays.

About BnF, DNP and the Globes 3D digital project

Founded in the 14th century as a Royal Library, the BnF is one of the world's leading libraries, with collections and holdings for preservation, enhancement, and diffusion comprising more than 40 million documents that range from manuscripts and published works to photographs and maps. A pioneer in granting electronic public access to the collections, its digital library Gallica contains over 3 million documents available for free consultation.

For its part, DNP is active in building cultural heritage digital imagery archives in high-resolution format. Through its "DNP Museum Lab", it has engaged in partnerships with museums all over the world to develop innovative art appreciation systems that allow visitors to become familiar with the diverse range of artistic and cultural expression. The joint "Louvre-DNP Museum Lab" project, launched in 2006 with the Musée du Louvre, enabled the development of multimedia resources taking advantage of IT technologies, in order to offer an enriching dialogue between the artwork and the viewer. Moreover, at DNP Kyoto Uzumasa Cultural Heritage Gallery, which deals with issues of preservation and transmission of cultural heritage, high definition real-size replicas of Important Cultural Properties are produced, as accurate reproductions of the originals in long-lasting materials. 4K image archive documentaries of Kyoto's tangible and intangible cultural heritage are also produced and disseminated there.

In July 2015, DNP and BnF concluded an agreement on a skills based patronage for the 3D digitization of a selection of 55 globes from the library's collection and for the sharing of these images with a wider public. For this project, DNP custom-developed tools that allow remarkable 3D modeling using images taken with the highest performing digital cameras in the world (approx. four hundred images per globe). The digitization took place in Paris. The present Tokyo exhibition is not the only endeavor to disseminate this data widely, as it will soon be available online on Gallica, while another exhibition on the BnF precinct in Paris is also scheduled. DNP wishes to find new applications for the 3D digitization techniques nurtured for this project, and to search for business opportunities for the digitized globe data in various formats (product development, digital contents business, etc.).


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