Notes on Tolkien Notes


The writings of J.R.R. Tolkien are my hobby, not my job.  I built this part of my website as an outlet for my private musings, and I flatter myself by calling them "scholarly" and attempt to keep them that way.

The family and heirs of J.R.R. Tolkien retain his copyright and legal rights through the Tolkien Estate, and Tolkien Enterprises owns certain other rights.  This website is not affiliated with those organizations.  It is a scholarly pursuit of the existing corpus of J.R.R. Tolkien.  We acknowledge their rights.  All reference to published material is what we honestly believe to be fair use for scholarly pursuit. 

The Tolkien Estate owns all rights to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and their derivatives. The Tolkien Estate can be contacted at:

Tolkien Estate
c/o Cathleen Blackburn
Manches LLP
9400 Garsington Road
Oxford Business Park
United Kingdom

The film and merchandise rights for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were sold by Tolkien in 1969 to pay his taxes. (Until Margaret Thatcher became prime minister of Britain, the British suffered under a system of confiscatory taxes in the years following World War II, as The Beatles noted in their song, "Taxman".)  They are not under the control of the family and are now owned by Tolkien Enterprises.  As we understand the situation, United Artists originally purchased the rights, and Saul Zaentz Company obtained them in 1976; Tolkien Enterprises is a division of Saul Zaentz.

HarperCollins is the publisher of Tolkien's materials.  HarperCollins will happily sell you copies of Tolkien's works, as well as other material on Tolkien.

Serious scholars will want to examine the collections of Tolkien's work at the J.R.R. Tolkien Collection at Marquette University, as well as the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford.  As we understand the situation here, Tolkien sold some of his published and unpublished manuscripts to Marquette in 1958 for the sum of 1250.  Bodleian Library received the rest of the material, so the original manuscripts are domiciled in two places.  Hopefully, this odd outcome will help preserve at least some of them for future generations.


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