Marquette is proud owner of the Tolkien Collection "Tolkieniana"

Marquette archivist William Fliss, interim curator for the Tolkien Collection, looks over some of the supplemental materials in the university’s J.R.R. Tolkien collection. The author’s actual manuscripts which Marquette obtained between 1956-1963 cannot be photographed.[boo!!] (Catholic Herald photo by Juan C. Medina)
Opening in theaters Dec. 14, “The Hobbit,” directed by Peter Jackson and starring Ian McKellen, is about to become the hottest topic in film circles.

The fact is, the fantasy novel on which the movie is based and that novel’s author have been hot topics around Marquette University for some time.

During his 1956-1963 tenure as director of MU libraries, William Ready, working through a London book dealer, acquired manuscripts produced by British author J.R.R. Tolkien for less than $5,000. Marquette’s Tolkien Collection – Tolkieniana, as collectors and fans of the writer call it – numbers more than 10,000 pages of the author’s book manuscripts, typescripts and drawings.

The collection boasts a multitude of secondary sources, too: hundreds of books and periodicals and, as a Marquette website phrases it, “ … press clippings, journal and anthology articles, dissertations, studies of Elvish languages, conference announcements and programs, auction sale notices and exhibit catalogs, as well as unpublished scholarly papers and essays … poems and songs, dramatizations, sketches and paintings, calendars, games and puzzles and teaching materials, in addition to audio recordings of readings and radio adaptations and video recordings of movie adaptations and commemorative documentaries.”

Most of Tolkien’s manuscript pages are from another novel, “Lord of the Rings,” but more than 1,500 are from “The Hobbit.” The latter book is celebrating its 75th anniversary of publication and Marquette will mark that milestone, as well as the new movie, Feb. 21. Four Tolkien scholars who’ve written about the Jackson-directed “Lord of the Rings” cinematic trilogy (2001-03) will participate that Thursday in an open-to-the-public roundtable discussion of Jackson’s version of “The Hobbit.” The discussion will close out approximately one year of Tolkien events at the university.
continue at Milwaukee Catholic Herald

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