Tolkien's Library: An Annotated Checklist

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Tolkien's Library:
An Annotated Checklist
Tolkien's Library 2019.jpeg
AuthorOronzo Cilli
EditorTom Shippey (foreword), Verlyn Flieger (afterword)
IllustratorJay Johnstone (cover)
PublisherLuna Press Publishing
Released8 August 2019
FormatHardcover; paperback

Tolkien's Library: An Annotated Checklist is an in-depth scholarly study and reference work by Oronzo Cilli, published in 2019. The work aims to establish a complete list of books that once existed on J.R.R. Tolkien's shelves, which he either read, owned, borrowed, or consulted.

Though not designed for a general audience, the work is widely prasied by scholars, being a guide to Tolkien's mind and also "points the way for many further studies". It is the winner of the "Best Book" award of the Tolkien Society Awards 2020, and a finalist for the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies 2021.

The main list consists some 2600 entries, which forms the bulk of the book. Also included in this volume are: a list of Tolkien's published writings in his lifetime; his interviews and reviews; student papers that he examined; publications by the Early English Text Society when Tolkien was a member; and Tolkien's lectures in Leeds and Oxford.

A second edition of the book was published in 2023, with the addition of more than 400 new entires, an afterword by Verlyn Flieger, and a newly discovered poem by G.B. Smith not included in A Spring Harvest.


  • Ackowledgements
  • Foreword to the First Edition - Tom Shippey
  • Preface
  • Introduction to the Second Edition
  • A tribute to G.B. Smith and the TCBS
  • Research Methodology
  • Section A - Primary Sources
  • Section B - Secondary Sources
  • Section C - The published writings of J.R.R. Tolkien 1910-1972
  • Section D - Interviews and Reviews
  • Section E - J.R.R. Tolkien - Supervisor and Examiner 1929-1960
  • Section F - Tolkien and Early English Text Society 1938-1972
  • Tolkien's Lectures: 1920-1959

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 first edition  
2023 second edition  

External links

  • Book review by Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, Journal of Tolkien Research vol. 7
  • Book review by Janet Brennan Croft, Tolkien Studies vol. 17
  • Book review by Andoni Cossio, Mythlore vol. 38

A J.R.R. Tolkien book guide
Books by or mainly by Tolkien
Of Arda Authored by
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit · The Lord of the Rings
(i.The Fellowship of the Ring · ii.The Two Towers · iii.The Return of the King) ·
The Road Goes Ever On · Bilbo's Last Song
Edited by Christopher Tolkien The Silmarillion · Unfinished Tales · The History of Middle-earth series
(i.The Book of Lost Tales: Part One · ii.The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two · iii.The Lays of Beleriand · iv.The Shaping of Middle-earth · v.The Lost Road and Other Writings · vi.The Return of the Shadow · vii.The Treason of Isengard · viii.The War of the Ring · ix.Sauron Defeated · x.Morgoth's Ring · xi.The War of the Jewels · xii.The Peoples of Middle-earth · Index) ·
The Children of Húrin · Beren and Lúthien · The Fall of Gondolin
Edited by others The Annotated Hobbit · The History of The Hobbit · The Nature of Middle-earth · The Fall of Númenor
Not of Arda Short stories
and poems
Leaf by Niggle · Farmer Giles of Ham · Smith of Wootton Major · The Adventures of Tom Bombadil ·
Letters from Father Christmas · Mr. Bliss · Roverandom ·
Tree and Leaf (compilation) · Tales from the Perilous Realm (compilation)
Fictional works The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún · The Fall of Arthur · The Story of Kullervo · The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
Translations and academic works Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo · Finn and Hengest ·
The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays · Beowulf and the Critics · Tolkien On Fairy-stories ·
Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary · A Secret Vice · The Battle of Maldon
Less known academic works A Middle English Vocabulary · Sir Gawain and the Green Knight · Ancrene Wisse · The Old English Exodus
Letters The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Books by other authors
Biographies J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography · The Inklings · Tolkien and the Great War
Reference works The Complete Guide to Middle-earth · The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide
Scholarly studies The Road to Middle-earth · The Keys of Middle-earth · The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion ·
The Ring of Words · A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien · Tolkien's Lost Chaucer · Tolkien's Library
Scholarly journals Tolkien Studies · (The Chronology)
Other works by Tolkien
Linguistic journals Vinyar Tengwar various issues · Parma Eldalamberon issue 11-22
Collections of artwork
and manuscripts
Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien · J.R.R. Tolkien: Life and Legend · J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator ·
The Art of The Hobbit · The Art of The Lord of the Rings · Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth ·
Tolkien: Treasures · J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript
This list is only a selection of works, for a fuller bibliography of Tolkien see here or here. See also a timeline.