RIP Christopher Tolkien 1924–2020

Digital Tolkien Project

A scholarly project focused on Tolkien from both a linguistic and digital humanities perspective

Our goal is to provide computational and philological support for Tolkien studies
using existing tools, standards, and scholarly best practices
while fostering collaboration and open scholarship
and respecting the rights and wishes of the Tolkien Estate and publisher.

The sorts of things we’re working on:

  • Markup and annotation of the texts of Tolkien’s works themselves
  • Linked Open Data around people, places, events
  • Citation schemes, chronology and bibliography in modern electronic formats
  • Machine-actionable invented language description

We’re also working on a number of things relating to computational Germanic philology.

If you’re a Tolkien scholar with research questions that would benefit from computational or corpus linguistic analysis, please get in touch.

Posts

  • Tolkien Experience Podcast

    Last year I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Luke Shelton for the Tolkien Experience Podcast and the interview has now been published.

  • Silmarillion Textual Variants in Print: Part Four

    This is the fourth in a series of posts about the textual variants I’ve found in printings of The Silmarillion. In this post, I’ll try to put together a broad textual history up to and including the Second Edition Hardcovers, based on all the variants we’ve looked at.

  • Silmarillion Textual Variants in Print: Part Three

    This is the third in a series of posts about the textual variants I’ve found in printings of The Silmarillion. In this post, I’ll update the previous results with data from a few more versions and then cover eleven variations in punctuation (not including hyphenation).

  • Numbering in the Númenórean King Lists

    One of the changes discussed in my second post on textual variants in The Silmarillion was the numbering of the Númenórean kings. I said there that it might be worth a whole post, so here we go.

  • Silmarillion Textual Variants in Print: Part Two

    This is the second in a series of posts about the textual variants I’ve found in printings of The Silmarillion. In this post, I’ll cover six more changes to words in the text. This will finish up all the non-punctuation changes in the main text of the book.

  • Silmarillion Textual Variants in Print: Part One

    This is the first in a series of posts about the textual variants I’ve found in printings of The Silmarillion. In this post, I’ll cover six spelling errors in the original first edition fixed by the latest HarperCollins hardcovers and the ebooks.

  • Aligning with the LR Citation System

    A key ingredient in the sort of digital classics I do on a daily basis is a citation scheme for unambiguously referring to specific passages in a canonical text. Once you have a text marked up structurally, a way of addressing into that structure becomes fairly easy, you just need to map how the structure and the citation scheme relate.

  • Punctuation and Structure in Marking Up Direct Speech

    As work continues on the markup of The Lord of the Rings, many of the issues discussed previously with regard to The Hobbit apply. A first pass is almost done, but there is an interesting challenge with Gandalf’s reading of the inscription on Balin’s tomb.

  • Accepted for Tolkien 2019

    I am truly delighted to announce that my talk “Tolkien and Digital Philology” on applying a philological and corpus linguistics approach to the works of Tolkien was accepted for the Tolkien Society’s 50th anniversary conference Tolkien 2019.

  • Marking Up The Hobbit in XML

    As a starting point, I’m working on the electronic markup of the text of The Hobbit in the Extensible Markup Language (XML).

  • Welcome to Digital Tolkien

    I’ve worked for many years on Ancient Greek and the computer analysis of Biblical and Ancient Greek texts. When my linguistic interests extended to Germanic languages such as Old Norse, I considered starting a new blog.