Lonely Planet Writer

See a recently discovered Middle-earth map annotated by Tolkien for one-day only in Oxford

Fans of the English writer J.R.R. Tolkien will have a brief opportunity to see a recently-discovered piece of memorabilia, as an annotated map of Middle-earth goes on display for one day only in Oxford, UK.

The map, which features handwritten notes from the author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, will be displayed on 23 June at the Bodleian’s Weston Library. The map made headlines last year after it was discovered in a copy of the Lord of the Rings that had been owned by Pauline Baynes, an illustrator who created artwork for Tolkien’s books. The map was found by Blackwell’s Rare Books, which put it up for sale late last year. According to the Bodleian, the map “was a working document that Tolkien and Baynes both annotated in 1969 when Baynes was commissioned to produce a poster map of Middle-earth”. The writer’s notes can be seen describing where certain places in Middle-earth should be located, in green ink and pencil.

The map has been added to the library’s Tolkien archive, which it describes as the “largest collection of original Tolkien manuscripts and drawings in the world”. It can now be viewed between 9:30 am and 5 pm on 23 June at the Bodleian’s Weston Library. If a trip to Oxford isn’t in your immediate future, fans of the film adaptations of Tolkien’s works can see many famous sights year-round in New Zealand, where the movies were filmed.