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The Tolkien Encyclopedia



FMI Publishing is initiating a project to assemble an electronic or hypertextually based encyclopedia of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. We feel that this will be a useful guide to the life and work of the master and hope that it will contribute to the body of scholarship that already exists. Printed versions of such a reference have already been put together, but are not available in an electronic form. One such printed encyclopedia is entitled

"The New Tolkien Companion

" by J.E.A. Tyler; it covers items mentioned in The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. In an electronic edition we plan to include these basic works and to go beyond by including references from volumes which have been released since The Silmarillion.

FMI Publishing has set a goal to release an electronic encyclopedia referencing items in all of Tolkien's published works as well as covering the terms contained in the eleven volume

"History of Middle-Earth

" edited by Christopher Tolkien.

I, Jack Lang, will act as editor/coordinator for the Encyclopedia. All inquiries and entries should be directed to me at the following e-mail address: NEWORLDR@AOL.COM. Please use the words


" in the subject line for all correspondence pertaining to the Encyclopedia. This will assist us will keeping the Tolkien submissions separate from those directed to our other publications.

Editing such a large undertaking is going to be a considerable project, so if you know Middle-earth inside and out, please volunteer to be an article reviewer and assist in catching those little mistakes and inaccuracies.

What/who is FMI Publishing? FMI is a small electronic publishing house run by graduate students. We publish a monthly magazine: The New World Reader. The Tolkien Encyclopedia will be FMI's first large scale hypertextual publication.


The Encyclopedia will not be written by a single person. Therefore we are requesting that people volunteer to contribute to this project by composing an entry/article.

I will manage a list of topics. If you wish to compose an entry for the Encyclopedia on a topic, please consult with me to find out whether this entry is being worked on by another person. If you wish to collaborate with someone who is already working on your favorite subject, that can be arranged providing both parties are willing. If you wish to write your own article anyway, do so and send it to us and we'll publish the best or both.

All entries must be original. You must write them yourself. Please cite any quotes and give proper credit to your sources. We don't want to get into any legal trouble.

The completed article should be e-mailed to NEWORLDR@AOL.COM with

"ETEP: (topic name)

" in the subject line. If you e-mail us an entry it will be assumed that you wish for us to include it in the Encyclopedia.

Please see the submission guidelines for information on the desired format for your article.


FMI Publishing does not charge for what it publishes. It is a free electronic publishing house. It has no income and thus no outgo. We cannot pay you, because we don't have any money. Thus, each author will retain the rights to whatever he or she writes. FMI will claim a copyright to the entire Encyclopedia as a whole in whatever form it may appear in, but individual articles which comprise the Encyclopedia will remain the intellectual properties of their authors. In each edition of the Encyclopedia all articles will contain the name and e-mail address of the person who composed the entry. We will also include a section entitled

"About the Author

" which will give a brief biography (supplied by the authors) of everyone who has participated in this project. If this isn't immortality, then what could come closer?

Encyclopedia Mailing-List

To be put on the Encyclopedia mailing list, send an e-mail to NeWorldR@AOL.COM with the words

"Tolkien Update

" in the subject line. You will automatically receive a periodic newsletter keeping you up to date on the encyclopedia's progress.

Jack Lang
Editor of The Tolkien Encyclopedia
July 1995


The Tolkien Encyclopedia is a growing, changing, developing entity. The last four months of work on the Encyclopedia have provided an opportunity for much thought and reflection about the scope and nature of the Encyclopedia. My idea for the Encyclopedia has expanded to include some elements I realize are necessary for ETEP to be a significant contribution to the body of Tolkien scholarship.

The Tolkien Encyclopedia is not merely a reference work which aims at answering questions of fact concerning the content of Middle-earth. This is certainly part of the larger whole, but it is not the whole project. In addition to this investigation of the content of Middle-earth, I would propose that two other purposes be considered for the Encyclopedia: first, a section for articles which treat TolkienÕs writing critically and which give a general consideration of TolkienÕs ideas, and second, a Tolkien Syntopicon.

An example of the first is Mr. HarveyÕs ŌOne Ring to Rule Them All.Ķ Also, Donavan Hall is currently working on a critical analysis of TolkienÕs theory of fantasy which I hope will someday become part of this section of the Encyclopedia. I am very interested in enlarging this part of the Encyclopedia and would encourage potential contributors to consider critical projects of this nature.

The Tolkien Syntopicon is another vital part of a complete Encyclopedia. The idea is modeled upon Mortimer AdlerÕs Syntopicon for the Great Books series released by The Encyclopedia Britannica. A syntopicon is basically an index of topics, not topics like the ones found in the Encyclopedia of Middle-earth, but topics like free will, honor, fate, evil, good, etc. Each topical treatment would include a brief essay discussing the idea or concept in question and then it would conclude in a detailed index of passages from the Tolkien corpus which touch on the topic.

Thus my complete vision of the Encyclopedia involves three parts: (1) Critical Articles, (2) The Tolkien Syntopicon, and (3) The Encyclopedia of Middle-earth.

The construction of the Syntopicon will take much work and cooperation. Over the next month I will compile a list of topics for the Syntopicon and make it available on the web site. Please email me with topic suggestions; I cannot possibly think of everything. What I ask of you as readers of Tolkien is to keep the list of topics in mind while reading and if you run across a passage which is pertinent to a topic send me the reference. Eventually, we will collectively compile a Syntopicon. And, of course, I will add your name to the list of contributors to the EncyclopediaŅI hope this list is long.

Jack Lang
Editor of The Tolkien Encyclopedia
September 1995

The Tolkien Encyclopedia
The Electronic Tolkien Encyclopedia Project

Last Modified: 9 December 1995 Hypertexual System by FMI Publishing, 1995

[Proposal] [Staff]