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Welcome to our new website!

Welcome! It’s been a long time coming, but I’m pleased to say that the Tolkien Society has a brand new website. I hope that this website will be a useful resource for fans of the books and films and introduce everyone to the Tolkien Society and its aims and projects.

I joined the Tolkien Society nearly 10 years ago, and ever since I have found it to be a wonderfully welcoming and engaging community – a true fellowship of friends from across the world who are bound by their love of J.R.R. Tolkien and the works that he created. The warmth of its members continues to gladden me, whilst the lack of any kind of bookish and anti-film snobbery comforts me.

This new website seeks to enshrine the principles of education and friendship. Although we have tidied up some of the information that was on the old website, you should still find everything you need to know about our events, about the Society, about Tolkien, and our educational activities. As an educational charity, literary society and worldwide fellowship, our educational aims of seeking to promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien are the reason we exist. It is for these reasons that we hold large events, publish regular journals and have a long-standing aim to set up a Tolkien centre. This website is the gateway to all of that.

New features of this website include:

  • Regular News. Now the website is in WordPress, it is much easier for volunteers to regularly update the website from wherever they are. Expect to see regular and frequent updates with the latest news on Tolkien books, Tolkien fandom and the films.
  • A Blog, which will include all the latest musings from Tolkien scholars and academics from across the world.
  • Join Now. Where you can now join instantly online from anywhere in the world with any form of credit or debit card (and those with UK bank accounts will be able to set up direct debits, too). This is all supported by a new back-end database which saves time for the Membership Secretary and makes the Society much more efficient.
  • Events Listing. Which will show you all the events from around the world and allow you to book for the ones hosted by the Society.
  • Smials Map, showing you where you can meet up with the local groups in your area.
  • A Members’ Area which includes a digital archive of Tolkien Society publications as well as other member-only benefits such as a discount of $20 on single Anytime Audit registrations at Signum University.

This is not “job done”, though. Several more features are in the works, such as a forum, a photo gallery, a shop and a catalogue of the Society’s archive. Do not be surprised that if you visit the website one day and find that something has changed; this is a constantly-changing environment and our website will be constantly-changing as well.

This new WordPress website would not have been made possible without our excellent team of volunteers. The work of both Emil Johansson (known to many as the architect of the Lord of the Rings Project) and Daniel Helen (an inveterate volunteer and friend of the Society) made this design happen and they have demonstrated unfaltering jollity in the face of my many “Can we just change this…“. And behind the scenes, Andrew McMurry has proved to be impressively patient with server-side wizardry.

Most of all, I would like to thank Andrew Armstrong. He has been the webmaster for 15 years – following the untimely death of Lester Simons who set up the very first website for the Society – and without Andrew we would not have had a functioning website at all. Without his tireless work we would not be where we are today. A very big thank you from us all!

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy our new website and, if you aren’t already, make sure you become a member of the Society right now!

About the Author: Shaun Gunner
Shaun is the Chair of The Tolkien Society. First elected in 2013, Shaun has overseen the Society's expansion from 600 to 3,500 members. Shaun regularly speaks about adaptations of Tolkien's works and the future of Tolkien scholarship whilst passionately believing the Society needs to reach out to new audiences. In his spare time he can be found playing video games and Lego, or on Twitter. He chaired another charity, Mankind, and is a local councillor.