Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

January 25 through May 12, 2019

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” With these words the Oxford professor J.R.R. Tolkien ignited a fervid spark in generations of readers. From the children’s classic The Hobbit to the epic The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s adventurous tales of hobbits and elves, dwarves and wizards have introduced millions to the rich history of Middle-earth. Going beyond literature, Tolkien’s Middle-earth is a world complete with its own languages and histories. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth celebrates the man and his creation. The exhibition will be the most extensive public display of original Tolkien material for several generations. Drawn from the collections of the Tolkien Archive at the Bodleian Library (Oxford), Marquette University Libraries (Milwaukee), the Morgan, and private lenders, the exhibition will include family photographs and memorabilia, Tolkien’s original illustrations, maps, draft manuscripts, and designs related to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

An exhibition organized by the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford in collaboration with the Morgan Library & Museum, New York with the support of The Tolkien Trust.
® TOLKIEN is a registered trademark of the Tolkien Estate Limited.

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth is made possible at the Morgan Library & Museum through the generosity of Fay and Geoffrey Elliott and with the support of The Tolkien Estate, The Tolkien Trust, and members of the Tolkien family.

J. R. R. Tolkien (1892–1973), Dust jacket design for The Hobbit [April 1937], pencil, black ink, watercolor, goache. Bodleian Libraries, MS. Tolkien Drawings 32. © The Tolkien Estate Limited 1937.

Optional exhibition tours: 

February 12 through May 10, Tuesday–Friday, 3–3:30 PM.


Plan your visit to Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

Admission to Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth is available on a first-come first-served basis. Advanced admission sales are not available for this exhibition. Due to capacity restrictions, access to the exhibition during Free Friday hours is not guaranteed.

Tolkien Visitor Guidelines and Policies

  • Please review the Morgan Library & Museum’s visitor Guidelines and Policies.
  • Costumes are permitted
  • Shoes must be worn at all times
  • No masks, wizard staffs, scepters, axes, bow and arrows, or swords are permitted
  • Photography is not permitted
  • Selfie-sticks are not permitted

The Morgan reserves the right to decide what can and cannot be brought into the museum.

Tolkien Group Tours
Guided group tours to Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth will be scheduled outside of public museum hours. Groups will be scheduled in the morning before the museum opens, when the museum closes in the evening, or Mondays. All requests are subject to availability.

The $500 facility fee includes up to ten guests. An additional fee of $150 will be charged for the museum educator. Any additional guests are $20 adults, $12 seniors, and $11 students. There may be an additional educator fee for groups larger than twenty people.

Otherwise, unguided groups are welcome to visit the exhibition by purchasing a ticket in person and checking availability on the date of their visit.

For more information or to make a reservation please e-mail [email protected]

Related programs

Selected images