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Malby Globes – The first gift to the University

Written by Mallory Seidlitz

Globes and libraries go together just like Bonnie and Clyde, Bert and Ernie, Shrek and Donkey—it just makes sense! So yes, those large vintage globes secured in even larger glass cases standing tall in the middle of the Grand Reading Room naturally fit into an academic library setting. But not so fast; they’re actually a bit more special than any regular old office globe…

As pioneers headed west in the mid-1800s, secured in their covered wagons were treasures of books, maps, and scientific charts for their trek across the country to now present-day Salt Lake City. Within these pioneer treasures were two one-of-a-kind globes known as the “Malby Globes,” named after the production company Malby & Co. that created them. There are hardly any of these globes in existence, and even fewer that come in a pair.

Yet, to our fortune, F.D. Richards, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, secured one terrestrial and one celestial globe in England to be the first gift to the former University of Deseret, now the University of Utah. The first institution of its kind out west, the Malby Globes became an instant Utah phenomenon, both on and off campus. Folks gathered throughout the state to watch the globes be paraded through the streets in awe of the immaculate detail featured on the round apparatuses. Adoration for the globes became visible in physical form as the wear and tear from constant touching hands shone through the delicate paper material. With a home at U’s Marriott Library, it was a proud accomplishment to restore the globes to their natural beauty so they may continue to stand amongst academics and scholars.

What makes the Malby Globes truly special is the level of detail and accuracy they contain. The globes have a unique design, with a distinctive wooden stand and brass meridian circle. The stand allows the globes to rotate, allowing for easy viewing of different parts of the world or the night sky.

In addition to their aesthetic and educational value, the Malby Globes are valuable collectibles that are highly sought after by antique dealers and collectors and can fetch a high price at auction. The pair are a timeless masterpiece of cartography, combining scientific accuracy with stunning aesthetics to create a true work of art and a testament to the beauty and wonder of the world we live in. Whether you are a collector, an enthusiast of cartography, or a U student wandering the Marriott Library, the Malby Globes are beautiful objects hailed as historic masterpieces found amongst your everyday life on campus.

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