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November 2016—The Department of Special Collections and University Archives has recently acquired a first edition copy of The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien, published in 1937. This volume is one of the original 1,500 copies printed of The Hobbit and features artwork drawn by Tolkien himself.
The Hobbit endures as “the outstanding British work of fantasy for children to appear between the two World Wars,” according to Humphrey Carpenter & Mari Pritchard in their 1984 Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature. “All historians of children’s literature…agree in placing [The Hobbit] among the very highest achievements of children’s authors during the 20th century.”
Special Collection’s J.R.R. Tolkien Collection contains the original manuscripts of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as various other original documents. The manuscript collection is supported by a significant collection of critical literature on Tolkien’s fantasy and academic writings. To see selections from this collection in person, check out our online schedule for bimonthly public showings and reserve your spot.
If you have any questions about The Hobbit first edition or Marquette’s Tolkien collection, please contact the collection’s curator, William Fliss (firstname.lastname@example.org).