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Tolkien’s annotated map of Middle-earth transcribed

The map of Middle-earth annotated by illustrator Pauline Baynes and Tolkien himself has now been transcribed by Blackwell’s Rare Books.

Late last month we reported that a map of Middle-earth featuring annotations by J.R.R. Tolkien had been re-discovered in a copy of The Lord of the Rings owned by the late Pauline Baynes. In the late 1960s Baynes collaborated with Tolkien to produce a poster-map — known as “A Map of Middle-earth” and first published in 1970 — based on the map of Middle-earth found in most copies of The Lord of the Rings.

Blackwell’s Rare Books are currently selling a large number of items from Pauline Baynes’s collection. A catalogue can be viewed online, and hard-copy is available on request.

Transcribed Map

Susan Theobald at Blackwell’s Rare Books has now completed the painstaking task of transcribing the annotations by both Baynes and Tolkien, and has kindly shared the end-product with the Tolkien Society. Click on the map for a closer look.


"MILDOR [wine-land]" scribbled out.
“MILDOR [wine-land]” scribbled out.
Further examination of the map has also revealed that “Dorwinion” was initially labelled “MILDOR [wine-land]” by Tolkien before being scribbled out and re-labelled “Dorwinion”. Both “Mildor” and “Dorwinion” are Sindarin names. The noun dor “land” is common to both. Whereas this annotation reveals that Mildor means “land of wine”, Dorwinion in fact means “land of Gwinion [a name for ‘Young-land’]” (Parma Eldalamberon XVII, p. 54).

About the Author: Daniel Helen
Daniel is an Officer without Portfolio and Trustee of The Tolkien Society. Elected in 2014, he is mainly responsible for the Society's digital operations, including this website.