Raynor Memorial Libraries offers more than 1.8 million volumes, hundreds of research databases, computer access, laptops on loan, a multimedia collection, group study spaces, 24-hour access and library staff members who help researchers from around the world.
The collection of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892−1973), professor of Old and Middle English language and literature at Oxford University, 1925 – 1959, contains the original manuscripts and multiple working drafts for three of the author’s most celebrated books, The Hobbit (1937), Farmer Giles of Ham (1949), and The Lord of the Rings (1954−1955), as well as the original copy of the children’s book Mr. Bliss (published in facsimile form in 1982). The collection includes books by and about Tolkien, periodicals produced by Tolkien enthusiasts, audio and video recordings, and a host of published and unpublished materials relating to Tolkien’s life, fantasy writings, and the fandom that sprang up around his legendarium.
Software designer Erik Mueller-Harder is visiting this week to help to build the system for digitally navigating the manuscripts of The Lord of the Rings. Here Erik collaborates with Ed and Brendan from Library IT to complete phase 2 of 7 in this ambitious project. We are calling the system Anduin in honor of the great river of Wilderland. The manuscripts represent a river of sub-creativity that flowed out of Tolkien over many years. Researchers who visit Marquette will be able to follow the main current or investigate side channels and eddies. Overall, a vast improvement over the old way of providing access to the collection.
… This has been an incredible month as we work on the system for digitally reprocessing the manuscripts for The Lord of the Rings. Here is the core team: Ed Sanchez, head of Library IT, John Rateliff, Tolkien scholar extraordinaire, Erik Mueller-Harder, software developer and Tolkien scholar, and Bill Fliss, curator of Marquette’s Tolkien Collection. After years of mapping the collection, we are finally designing the system for navigating the virtual collection. It will make life so much easier for scholars who visit Marquette to study the manuscripts. (Copyright prevents us from just sharing the system, with its 10,000+ images, online.) The project has been exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Meetings have been intense but productive as we work through known obstacles and anticipate future challenges. Truly, “There shall be counsels taken / Stronger than Morgul-spells.”
Marquette University’s Raynor Memorial Libraries and the Haggerty Museum of Art are pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition of manuscripts from the celebrated author and artist J.R.R. Tolkien (1892−1973), best known for his literary classics The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
The exhibition considers Tolkien’s work through the lens of manuscripts, both in terms of the materials he studied as a medieval philologist and the manuscripts he created while developing his legendarium. Professor Tolkien was deeply immersed in the complexities of manuscripts, and this exhibition will illustrate how different aspects of the manuscript tradition found expression within Tolkien’s scholarly life and in his creative writing.…