Frequently Asked Questions and Links

Archives

How can I get access to the archives of J.R.R. Tolkien materials?

Accredited scholars may consult manuscripts contained in the Tolkien archives; further details can be obtained from the institutions concerned:

The Bodleian Library, Oxford: specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Marquette University, Wisconsin, USA: william.fliss@marquette.edu

Artworks and Images

Can I get permission to reproduce Tolkien images in a book I am writing?

Bona fide image reproduction requests may be directed in the first instance to the Bodleian Library, where the archivist will give guidance on image availability and licensing:

specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Can I make copies of Tolkien’s artworks for other purposes?

Tolkien’s original drawings, paintings, maps, designs, scripts and other graphic works are protected by copyright and may not be copied. The Tolkien Estate takes action against parties who try to commercialise Tolkien’s works, including maps of Middle-earth, the One Ring Inscription and other images.

Can I use a Tolkien image in marketing or promoting my goods or services or for an event I’m holding?

The Tolkien Estate does not give permission for use of its copyright works in these situations.  This policy extends not only to commercial activities but also those which are charitable or not-for-profit.

Clubs and Societies

How do I set up an official Tolkien club or society?

Tolkien clubs and societies require a licence to use the TOLKIEN name, which is a registered trademark.  The Estate will consider, amongst other things, the proposed objects, constitution and management of the club or society when determining whether a licence will be granted.

Contact

How can I contact the Tolkien Estate?

You can write to the Tolkien Estate at its registered office address: 

The Tolkien Estate Limited
Prama House
267 Banbury Road
Oxford OX2 7HT
United Kingdom

Unfortunately, it is not possible to email or telephone the Tolkien Estate directly, but the answers to most queries will be found in these FAQs and links.

Documentaries

Can I make a documentary about JRR Tolkien or his works?

Bona fide requests concerning documentaries, from established commercial broadcasters or producers only, may be addressed to: info@maierblackburn.com

Events and Festivals

Can I organise a Tolkien event or festival?

While the Tolkien Estate encourages interest in J.R.R. Tolkien’s works, the name TOLKIEN is a registered trademark and may not be used for the promotion of an event or festival without permission.

Fan Fiction

Can I publish fan fiction or other books or material based on Tolkien’s works?

The Tolkien Estate has a duty to protect the integrity of Tolkien’s original writings and artworks and takes copyright very seriously. This means that you cannot copy any part of Tolkien’s writings or images, nor can you create materials which refer to the characters, stories, places, events or other elements contained in any of Tolkien’s works.

Fanzines

Can I publish a Tolkien fanzine?

The name TOLKIEN is a registered trademark and may not be used without permission.  Unfortunately permission cannot be given for publications which use the name TOLKIEN or the Tolkien Estate’s copyright materials.

Films

Where can I enquire about the films of Tolkien’s works?

Enquiries about the Peter Jackson motion pictures of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit should be addressed to Warner Bros:

newlinecinema@newline.com

Will there be a film of The Silmarillion?

While understanding the wish of many fans to see a film of The Silmarillion, the Tolkien Estate has no current plans for any such motion picture.

Where can I enquire about other film rights?

The Tolkien Estate is currently unable to entertain enquiries about motion picture rights in any of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works.

Infringement

Can I report an infringement of copyright in Tolkien’s works or the Tolkien trademarks?

Infringements of the copyright in Tolkien’s works or the Tolkien trademarks may be reported to: info@maierblackburn.com.  

Interviews

Can I interview a member of the Tolkien family?

Requests to interview a member of the Tolkien family should be addressed in the first instance to info@maierblackburn.com

Invented Languages

Can I write in Tolkien’s invented languages or use Tolkien’s invented scripts?

Tolkien’s invented languages and scripts are protected by copyright.  You may use them for your own private interest and amusement, but you may not reproduce them in any form of publication or in connection with any group activity, commercial or otherwise.

Merchandise

Where can I obtain official Tolkien merchandise?

The Bodleian Library in Oxford carries a range of official Tolkien merchandise relating to its Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibition, which can be found at:

https://bodleianshop.co.uk/collections/j-r-r-tolkien

The Tolkien Estate is not directly involved with merchandise relating to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and relevant enquiries should be directed to The Saul Zaentz Company:

me@middleearth.com

Can I sell Tolkien-related merchandise?

You may not manufacture or sell any items that include the text of Tolkien’s works or his artwork. Nor may you use the names TOLKIEN or JRR TOLKIEN or the JRRT Monogram or Signature, all of which are registered trademarks. The Tolkien Estate takes action against individuals who sell infringing merchandise on eBay, Etsy, Redbubble and similar websites.

Can I report infringing merchandise?

Articles which infringe the copyright in Tolkien’s works or the Tolkien trademarks may be reported to info@maierblackburn.com.  

Music

Can I set Tolkien’s works to music?

While everyone is free to compose music, the Tolkien Estate does not permit the setting of Tolkien’s words to music.  Nor can you use the Tolkien name, book titles or any of the text of Tolkien’s works in connection with any musical composition.

Naming Rights

Is it possible to name a building, park, garden, etc after Tolkien?

The name TOLKIEN is a registered trademark and may not be used without permission.  Permission is not given for the naming of buildings, parks, gardens, streets, housing developments and the like.

Permissions

Can I get permission to quote from Tolkien’s works?

All bona fide requests for permission to quote from Tolkien’s published works should be addressed to HarperCollins Publishers at:

CSEnquiries@harpercollins.co.uk

Information about permission to quote from Tolkien’s unpublished works will be given to scholars consulting the Tolkien archives by the archivists at those institutions:

The Bodleian Library, Oxford: specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Marquette University, Wisconsin USA: william.fliss@marquette.edu

Can I use a Tolkien quotation or Tolkien image in marketing or promoting my goods or services or for an event I’m holding?

The Tolkien Estate does not give permission for use of its copyright works in these situations.  This policy extends not only to commercial activities but also those which are charitable or not-for-profit.

Personal Messages and Communications

Can I write to a member of the Tolkien family?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to write directly to members of the Tolkien family. However, correspondence may be sent via the Tolkien Estate, using the postal address shown under ‘Contact’ above.

Will the Tolkien Estate respond to my questions or opinions about Tolkien’s writings?

While understanding that many fans have passionate views and a great desire for more information about all aspects of Tolkien’s works, the Tolkien Estate is not able to become involved in any communications of this nature. There are of course many public forums where these matters can be discussed.

Photographs

Can I use a photo or likeness of Tolkien in connection with my work?

Photographs and likenesses of Tolkien are likely to be protected copyright works.  Permission should be sought from the copyright owners concerned:

HarperCollins Publishers: CSEnquiries@harpercollins.co.uk

The Bodleian Library: specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Plays and Dramatic Productions

Can I produce a play or other entertainment based on Tolkien’s works?

It would represent a breach of copyright to make an adaptation of Tolkien’s works, dramatic or otherwise, and you may not create any materials which refer to the characters, stories, places, events or other elements contained in any of Tolkien’s works.

Are there any playscripts of Tolkien’s works available for amateur performance?

You can produce a play based on the authorized dramatic adaptation of The Hobbit with permission from The Saul Zaentz Company: me@middleearth.com.  No other authorized playscripts are available.  

Press and Media Enquiries

How do I contact the Tolkien Estate for comment?

Bona fide enquiries from accredited press and media organizations may be addressed to: info@maierblackburn.com

Publishing Rights

How can I enquire about publishing rights in Tolkien’s works?

All such requests should be addressed to HarperCollins Publishers:

CSEnquiries@harpercollins.co.uk

Questions About Tolkien’s Works

Will the Tolkien Estate respond to my questions or opinions about Tolkien’s writings?

While understanding that many fans have passionate views and a great desire for more information about all aspects of Tolkien’s works, the Tolkien Estate is not able to become involved in any communications of this nature. There are of course many public forums where these matters can be discussed.

Quotations

Can I get permission to quote from Tolkien’s works?

All bona fide requests for permission to quote from Tolkien’s published works should be addressed to HarperCollins Publishers at:

CSEnquiries@harpercollins.co.uk

Information about permission to quote from Tolkien’s unpublished works will be given to scholars consulting the Tolkien archives by the archivists at those institutions:

The Bodleian Library, Oxford: specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Marquette University, Wisconsin USA: william.fliss@marquette.edu

Can I use a Tolkien quotation or Tolkien image in marketing or promoting my goods or services or for an event I’m holding?

The Tolkien Estate does not give permission for use of its copyright works in these situations.  This policy extends not only to commercial activities but also those which are charitable or not-for-profit.

Readings

Can I perform readings of Tolkien’s works?

Readings of Tolkien’s works in any setting which is open to the public will require permission, whether the event is commercial or otherwise.  Requests for permission should be directed to HarperCollins Publishers:

CSEnquiries@harpercollins.co.uk

Readings may not be recorded or broadcast, which means that they may not be streamed or uploaded for distribution via the internet.  The Tolkien Estate takes action in respect of unauthorized audiobooks and readings of Tolkien’s works posted on websites and social media.

Trademarks

Which trademarks belong to the Tolkien Estate?

The names TOLKIEN and JRR TOLKIEN, the JRRT Monogram and JRR Tolkien Signature and the titles of many Tolkien works are registered trademarks belonging to the Tolkien Estate.  

In addition, many character names, places, events and other elements from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, including the titles of those works, are trademarked by The Saul Zaentz Company.

Translation Rights

Can I enquire about translation rights?

All such requests should be addressed to HarperCollins Publishers:

CSEnquiries@harpercollins.co.uk.

TV Series

Can I get information about the Amazon TV series?

Any questions about the forthcoming Amazon TV series should be addressed to Amazon at courtney.brown@amazonstudios.com

See also:

https://press.amazonstudios.com/us/en/original-series/the-lord-of-the-rings-amazon-original-series/1

Unpublished Papers

Can I get to see Tolkien’s unpublished manuscripts?

Accredited scholars may consult manuscripts contained in the Tolkien archives; further details can be obtained from the institutions concerned:

The Bodleian Library, Oxford: specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Marquette University, Wisconsin USA: william.fliss@marquette.edu