In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit...
Published in 1937, these words introduced a new world, Middle-earth, to us all. They were written by J.R.R. Tolkien, an academic in his '40s who enjoyed telling stories and who one day suddenly found a blank sheet in a pile of examination papers he was engaged in marking. The rest is history. 
In 1969 the Tolkien Society was founded to further interest in the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.B.E., the author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and other works of fiction and philological study. Based in the United Kingdom and registered as an independent, non-profit making charity, number 273809, the Society has an international membership which benefits from regular publications and events.
The Society helps to bring together those with like minds, both formally and informally, with gatherings throughout the year. There are three gatherings each year at a national level. The first is the Annual General Meeting and Annual Dinner, held in the spring in a different town or city in the UK. At the AGM, the running of the Society is discussed and Committee members are elected. After the gently formal Dinner there is always a guest speaker, either someone who knew J.R.R. Tolkien or someone describing how his works have affected their life and work.
The second event, the Seminar, takes place on a summer weekend at venues around the UK and occasionally overseas. Talks are presented a Tolkien-related theme. These can range from high seriousness to lighthearted in tone and there is always something for everyone. The second day is usually filled with a visit to a historic site or other local event to interest or entertain.
The third and largest gathering of the Tolkien Society year is Oxonmoot, held over a weekend in late September, often in a college of Oxford University. Events are many and varied, and may include talks, slide shows, a guided walk around historic Oxford, a lunchtime reception, and an evening party with an opportunity to present music or drama or take part in a creative costume masquerade, or simply socialise and enjoy company. On Sunday we visit Wolvercote Cemetery to remember J.R.R. Tolkien and how his work has brought us and many others together. It is a great time for making new friends in the Society - and meeting old friends again.
Within the Society there are local groups called Smials, after hobbit homes. Here both members and non-members gather to be sociable, talk about Tolkien's works and anything else that interests them and arrange outings of mutual interest. Smials are one of the social lifelines of the Society. There are also postal smials for those who live far from a local group, with regular newsletters and occasional meetings.
There are also Special Interest Groups on various topics such as Tolkien Collecting and Tolkien's languages.
The Society produces two regular publications. The bulletin Amon Hen appears six times a year with news from around the whole range of Tolkien-related interests, reviews, letters, artwork and articles humorous and serious. The annual journal, Mallorn, is more serious in nature with longer critical articles and essays. Nearly all the material appearing in the journals is the work of Society members, often giving them their first opportunity of presenting their work to a wider audience. There are also occasional booklets produced by the Society, its Special Interest Groups, and sometimes Smials and individual members.
The Society has close and friendly links both with the late Professor's family and publishers, and with fellow literary societies and other groups in all fictional fields.
The Society also maintains an extensive Library and Archive, both of which are accessible to Society members. The Archive can also be visited by non-members. Access is currently by appointment only.
And as you may have noticed, the Society has its own Website with much information about publications, biography and events as well as news updates and a Guestbook through which anyone can request information or answers to questions about Tolkien's life and works, publications, publishing and performing rights, events and local contacts. All we ask is that you give us a correct email address to reply to and a bit of time to find an answer.
The Tolkien Society is home ground for 'those who would wander with friends in Middle-earth'.
a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or story telling,
or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all...