Tolkien: Make of Middle-earth – 1 June – 28th October

What's On In Oxford

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth | Weston Library, Broad Street | 1 June – 28 October 2018

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth (1 June – 28 October 2018) includes over 200 items – approximately half of which have never been displayed before – from Bodleian’s extensive Tolkien Archive and Marquette University’s Tolkien Collection, as well as from important private collections.

Exhibition highlights include:
  • Draft manuscripts of The Hobbit showing the evolution of the story displayed alongside striking watercolours, dust jacket designs, line drawings and maps drawn for the publication;
  • Original manuscripts of The Lord of The Rings along with dust jacket designs and beautiful watercolours;
  • Original manuscripts of The Silmarillion, Tolkien’s very earliest work on the legends of the elves, which was unfinished during his lifetime and then published posthumously by his son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien;
  • Photos and letters from Tolkien’s childhood and student days exploring themes of love, loss and war;
  • Letters of appreciation from a wide range of admirers including poet WH Auden, singer Joni Mitchell and author Iris Murdoch;
  • Personal objects that belonged to Tolkien including his art materials (boxes of paints, coloured pencils and sealing wax) and his personal library;
  • A selection of maps of Middle-earth including a recently discovered map annotated by Tolkien, which was acquired by the Bodleian in 2016; and
  • A specially-commissioned 3-D map of Middle-earth.