Tolkien's Library: An Annotated Checklist

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Tolkien's Library:
An Annotated Checklist
Tolkien's Library 2019.jpeg
AuthorOronzo Cilli
PublisherLuna Press Publishing
ReleasedAugust 8 2019
FormatHardcover; paperback

Tolkien's Library: An Annotated Checklist is a reference and scholarly book by Oronzo Cilli, published in 2019. The book attempts to gather, from every source possible, information about books (and selected articles, essays, and other material) that Tolkien is known to have "read, consulted, bought, or borrowed". Tom Shippey wrote the foreword for the book.

The book won the Best Book of the Tolkien Society Award 2020.[1]

A revised and expanded edition was released on 31 January 2023.[2]

Second edition

The second edition includes:[3]

  • Afterword by Verlyn Flieger.
  • New introduction including in-depth analysis of the criteria and reasons for the choices made in selecting and arraging entries.
  • The list of entries is composed of Section A "Primary sources" (books we know for sure Tolkien read from primary evidence) and Section B "Secondary sources" (books we may reasonably suppose he read from secondary evidence).
  • The addition of more than 400 new books.
  • Expansion of existing entries.
  • New cover art by Jay Johnstone
  • A poem by G.B. Smith not included in A Spring Harvest.

From the publisher

"A combination of circumstances means that we know more about J.R.R. Tolkien than about almost any other author, from any period. Nevertheless, in spite of all the efforts, there remains a certain opacity about Tolkien, both professionally and personally.

As this book shows, there is a way to bridge that gap which has not been previously attempted: a fact which makes this work by Oronzo Cilli arguably the work with most potential for giving us a truer understanding of Tolkien; a work which, besides its own immediate effect, points the way for many further studies. What Oronzo has done is, quite simply, to collect what is known about the books Tolkien owned and read.

The best guide to an author's mind is through his books, and in the work of Oronzo Cilli we have now the best and most valuable guide to Tolkien's books. It is a devoted, enduring, and above all inspirational work of scholarship, but not, as Oronzo knows, a final one. It joins that very select group of works, the most useful of all: a book we should keep, update, and write notes in the margin of, for the rest of our lives." — Tom Shippey

Publication history and gallery

2019 hardcover & paperback  
2023 hardcover & paperback (second edition)  
  • First edition
  • Second edition, revised and expanded
    • Luna Press Publishing, hardcover (2023), pp. 521. ISBN 1913387771
    • Luna Press Publishing, paperback (2023), pp. 521. ISBN ??

External links


  1. Daniel Helen, "Winners of The Tolkien Society Awards 2020 announced" dated 18 April 2020, The Tolkien Society (accessed 15 December 2022)
  2. "Tolkien's Library Second Edition HB", Luna Press Publishing (accessed 15 December 2022)
  3. Tolkien's Library facebook page (accessed August 10, 2022)