An Illustrated Tolkien Bibliography

The Bibliography
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The Bibliography

1910-1937 - The Early Years

1937 - The Hobbit

1938-1953 - The Middle Years

1954-1955 - The Lord of the Rings

1955-1973 - The Later Years

1974-1990 - After Tolkien Part 1

1991-2010 - After Tolkien Part 2

Boxed Sets & Books in Slipcases

Languages and Alphabets

Other Credits

This area of the site lists all British editions of the published writings of J.R.R. Tolkien.  Where no image for the relevant book is available there will be an image placeholder - any help with missing images will be appreciated.

There is one image for most books, and articles are being added to fully illustrate the more important and hard to find editions.  Bibliography entries give details of the edition, year of publication, publisher, format and ISBN (if applicable), together with details of any illustrations, later reprints and other handy snippets of information.  ISBNs are given without any spaces as this is the format preferred by most book search engines.

The Manuscripts of J.R.R.T. 1984The main bibliography is split into a number of sections:

Each section is split into subsections, which appear as galleries of thumbnail images.
Just click on a thumbnail to see a larger image, details of the edition and any reprints.

Books are presented in order of the year of first issue and are grouped together with later printings and editions following on from the first edition.  As a general rule only British editions are listed, unless there isn't one of course!  Where there is only a 'foreign' edition, it will be listed together with any other significant reprints and variants.  Some non-British appearances are also listed for a few of the older Tolkien pieces that are particularly difficult to find.

  • Languages and Alphabets - Much of this material is now listed.
  • Letters - The site is slowly being expanded to include published letters and extracts from letters.
  • Artwork - The site is also being expanded to include not only books wholly devoted to art by Tolkien, but posters, postcards and other items utilising Tolkien's illustrations.
  • Manuscript pages and Miscellanea - Some of this material is included, and more will be added later.

J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive BibliographyMost of the entries for books published before 1993 include a reference to "Hammond".  This is J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography by Wayne G. Hammond with the assistance of Douglas A. Anderson.  It was published in 1993 by St. Paul's Bibliographies in the UK (ISBN 1873040113), and by Oak Knoll Books in the USA (ISBN 0938768425).  The book only has details up to 1992, but hopefully the author will bring it up to date with a second edition at some stage.

By all accounts Tolkien was a very amenable and helpful fellow.  Due to this there are quite a number of books that credit him for contributing in a number of ways, for example proof reading, offering advice & criticism, general encouragement, etc.  Details of many of these books can be found in the Other Credits section.

The following items have not been included in the main bibliography:

A New English Dictionary / The Oxford English Dictionary
Edited by Murray, Bradley, Craigie & Onions.
1888-1933.  Oxford University Press.
Tolkien worked on the Dictionary as an assistant lexicographer from 1919 to 1920.
For further information on Tolkien's work on the Dictionary see:

  • 'At the Wordface: J.R.R. Tolkien's Work on the Oxford English Dictionary' by Peter M. Gilliver in Proceedings of the Tolkien Centenary Conference (Mythlore 80, Mallorn 30).  Edited by Reynolds & Goodnight.  1995.  The Mythopoeic Press / The Tolkien Society.
  • The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary.  Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall and Edmund Weiner.  2006.  Oxford University Press.
  • The OED website has images of some of his notes.

Medium Aevum and The Society for Medieval Language and Literature
Tolkien had a long association with the Society and its journal Medium Aevum.  Apart from the publication (in 2 parts) of his essay Sigelwara land in 1932 and 1934 his involvement can be summarised as follows:

  • Vol.1-1932 - Vol.4-1935.  Member of the Executive Committee
  • Vol.5-1936 - Vol.7-1938.  Member of the Editorial Board
  • Vol.8-1939 - Vol.17-1948.  Member of the Executive Committee and the Editorial Board
  • Vol.18-1949 - Vol.21-1952.  President and a member of the Editorial Board
  • Vol.22-1953 - Vol.28-1959.  Vice President and a member of the Editorial Board
  • Vol.29-1960 - Vol.42-1973.  Vice President

Oxford English Monographs
Tolkien was also one of the General Editors for the Oxford English Monographs series from before its first publication in 1940 until close to the time he retired in 1959.  It is thought that he acted as Chief Editor for much of this period.  Only the prefatory note he contributed to Peter Goolden's Old English Apollonius of Tyre is included in the main Bibliography.  A full list of books in the series that he was involved with is given below.

Víga-Glúms Saga. 1940. Hardback in dustwrapper
Víga-Glúms Saga. 1940
Elizabethan Acting. 1951. Hardback in dustwrapper
Elizabethan Acting. 1951
þorgils Saga ok Hafliða. 1952. Hardback in dustwrapper
þorgils Saga ok Hafliða. 1952
Sir Orfeo. 1954. Hardback in dustwrapper
Sir Orfeo. 1954
Peterborough Chronicle. 1958. Hardback in dustwrapper
Peterborough Chronicle. 1958
Old English Apollonius of Tyre. 1958. Hardback in dustwrapper
Old English Apollonius of Tyre. 1958
Sonnets of William Alabaster. 1959. Hardback in dustwrapper
Sonnets of William Alabaster. 1959


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