Major Tolkien Exhibition at the Bodleian
May 2018—A large-scale exhibition at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries is featuring twelve items from Raynor Memorial Libraries’ Tolkien archival collection. The items selected for exhibition include four pages from The Hobbit manuscript and eight from the The Lord of the Rings manuscript.
The exhibition, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, runs June to October, 2018, at the Bodleian’s Weston Library. It is accompanied by a richly illustrated book by Tolkien archivist Catherine McIlwaine: Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth. The book represents the largest collection of original Tolkien material ever assembled in a single volume.
Tolkien spent almost the whole of his adult life in Oxford, and it is the city where he studied, taught, researched and wrote his most famous works. Oxford's Bodleian Libraries now house the largest archival collection of Tolkien materials. The exhibition there marks first time the Marquette Tolkien manuscripts have returned there since their purchase from Professor Tolkien in the 1950s.
Raynor Memorial Libraries' own extensive Tolkien collection contains the original manuscripts and multiple working drafts for three of the author's most celebrated books, The Hobbit, Farmer Giles of Ham, and The Lord of the Rings, as well as the original copy of the children's book Mr. Bliss. The collection includes books by and about Tolkien, periodicals produced by Tolkien enthusiasts, audio and video recordings, and a host of published and unpublished materials relating to Tolkien's life and fantasy writings.
Learn more about the Tolkien collection at Raynor Memorial Libraries, including the bimonthly public showing of select items from the collection. Questions? Contact William Fliss, curator, J.R.R. Tolkien curator, in the library's special collections department.