The Tolkien Society maintains an archive as a repository for Tolkien-related material, including books, papers and memorabilia.
What’s in the archive?
It can be roughly broken down into the following categories:
- books by and about Tolkien, including foreign editions – over 500 titles in more than 30 languages
- journals devoted to Tolkien, or containing papers on Tolkien
- examples of the creative response to Tolkien (e.g. fan art, photographs of enactments))
- examples of the commercial response to Tolkien (e.g. professional art, Easter-eggs)
- press cuttings mentioning Tolkien
- printed ephemera related to Tolkien
- the papers of the Tolkien Society (minutes, accounts, etc.)
The contents of the archive are catalogued on the Access to Archives website.
How do I access the archive?
The archive is stored at the Surrey History Centre and access is arranged by appointment with the Tolkien Society Archivist, Pat Reynolds. Email:
archives [at] tolkiensociety [dot] org
The archive is currently rarely available, due to the Archivist no longer being locally based. We are searching for a new location.
Can I request photocopies?
Many of the items in the archive are most conveniently (and most cost effectively) obtained online from libraries (such as the British Library). In many countries, including the UK, your local public library can obtain a copy for you at a small charge. However, there are items in the Tolkien Society Archives which are not available anywhere else. We prefer these to be ordered by public libraries, as this makes dealing with copyright issues easier in cases where the Tolkien Society is not the copyright owner.
Please note: the volunteer archivist currently lives hundreds of miles from the stores, so visits them to make copies only every few months.
Some items, however, may not be suitable for digitizing or copying. You should note the following:
- The text on some documents may not be easily legible. Every effort will be made to provide copies to the highest standard possible for research needs.
- It may not be possible to provide copies of documents in certain formats, or those which are damaged or are in a fragile condition.
- It may not be possible to copy documents which have been stapled, pinned or tied together.
- Be aware that if a document is heavily folded or tightly rolled and cannot be safely held down, creases and shadowing may appear in the copy.
- Tightly bound, damaged, very heavy or large bound volumes may be unsuitable for copying.
- There may be some restrictions in copying very large maps, posters and artwork.
Can I donate items to the Archive?
We would love to hear from you if you think you have something appropriate for the archive. But please note that, while we are grateful for all donations, space is limited and your contribution will be assessed according to our Acquisitions and Disposal Policy (which sets out our priorities for collecting).