Tolkien Gateway

Bodleian Library

Clarendon Building of the Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library, the main research library of the University of Oxford, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe.

J.R.R. Tolkien was a frequent visitor to the Bodleian, as they keep several manuscripts which were used in his studies of medieval texts: his edition of and commentary on The Old English Exodus (MS Junius 11) as well as the studies he conducted with Simonne d'Ardenne on the scholarly papers of the Middle English collection known as the Katherine Group (MS Bodley 34).

The Bodleian Library holds a large collection of original Tolkien manuscripts at the Department of Western Manuscripts. Many of these have been donated by the Tolkien Estate, and include drafts, typescripts, proofs, letters, artwork, lecture drafts and other academic working papers, books from his personal collection, family papers, and much other. The collection of manuscripts is open to access by scholars, with the exception of the family papers.

In 2018, the library held an exhibition and published an accompanying book called Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, which featured manuscripts, artwork, maps, letters, and other artefacts documenting Tolkien's creative process.[1][2].

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