Unquendor was founded in 1981, on the birthday of Frodo and Bilbo, September 22th, after the example of the British Tolkien Society. It steadily grew up to its current member count of about 280 people from all over the Dutch-speaking world, though Flanders has its own Society, Elanor, and South Africa, which had its now dormant Haradrim, is usually considered under the influence of the English Tolkien Society.
Members of Note
Unquendor organises a number of big events throughout the Netherlands, like:
- The "Joelfeest" (Yule party, December)
- Tolkien day (with annual general meeting, close to September 22th)
- "Slotfeest" (Castle/End (of year) Feast (same word for these in Dutch), June),
- "3-januari-diner" (Tolkien Birthday Diner, January 3rd)
- "Tolkien Leesdag" (Tolkien Reading Day, close to March 25th).
Unquendor also offers more regular meetings organised by its members throughout the Netherlands, called Herbergen ("Inns").
Unquendor's Inns are akin to the Tolkien Society's Smials. These monthly to half-yearly meetings, of which Unquendor currently has about ten, are usually frequented by about eight people who then talk about Tolkien or Unquendor related issues. Since inception Inns have come and gone in Unquendor:
- Ar Caras, Nijmegen, defunct
- Bij de Sarnvoorde, Assen, active
- Culinaire Herberg, Amersfoort, active
- De Steigerende Pony, Leiden, defunct
- De Witte Zwaan,
- Den Swarte Draeck, Leiden, innkeeper: René van Rossenberg, semi-dormant
- Gondolin, Venray, innkeeper: Peter-Willem Schellen, defunct
- Lay of Leithian, rotating throughout Limburg province, co-innkeeper: Jan Boom, active
- Mellonost, Nijmegen, dormant
- Reizende Herberg, rotating throughout the country, active
- Silme, The Hague, defunct
- Zalen van Valinor, unknown location, semi-dormant
Since inception Inns have come and gone in Unquendor: Ar Caras, Nijmegen, defunct Bij de Sarnvoorde, Assen, active De Steigerende Pony, Leiden, defunct De Witte Zwaan, Den Swarte Draeck, Leiden, innkeeper: René van Rossenberg, semi-dormant Gondolin, Venray, innkeeper: Peter-Willem Schellen, defunct Lay of Leithian, rotating throughout Limburg province, co-innkeeper: Jan Boom, active Mellonost, Nijmegen, dormant Reizende Herberg, rotating throughout the country, active Silme, The Hague, defunct Zalen van Valinor, unknown location, semi-dormant
Every 5 years, the most recent being 2011, Unquendor organizes a weekend event to celebrate an additional 5 years of the society being in existence. These events are more international in nature and usually include lectures by known Tolkien scholars and artists: Cor Blok (2006), Tom Shippey (2011), Rayner Unwin (1997), Arne Zettersten (2006).
Unquendor also publishes the five-a-year magazine 'Lembas', in which the accounts of meetings and announcements for them are made known, but it includes Ardalogical and Tolkienistical essays as well, all of which are written by members of Unquendor. Unquendor also publishes an extra book each year, called the Lembas Extra, in which all kinds of Tolkienological and Ardalogical articles, all in English, are published.
Unquendor is neo-Quenya for "Hollow Land", and is a translation of the often perceived etymology of Holland, "Hollow land". The correct etymology is of Holland, however, "Wooded land". "Hollow land" does apply to Holland in Lincolnshire, UK.