One key part of the Digital Tolkien Project is the development of citation systems for relevant Tolkien works. Much like chapters and verses in the Bible or CTS URNs in the CITE Architecture, these citation systems are designed to enable reference to specific parts of a text independent of a particular physical edition.

In general the principle is to follow the hierarchical structure of books and parts and chapters and sections down to chunks (usually paragraphs but also verse stanzas, lists, etc) and sometimes further (verse lines, list items, etc). So, for example, in Lord of the Rings, 4.04.024 means Book 4, Chapter 4, Paragraph 24, which begins “Gollum disappeared.”

See Search Tolkien for a Web interface that allows lookup of a citation reference by text.

This page is for documenting and reporting ongoing status on the citation systems for various works.

The Hobbit (H)

General format is <chapter>.<paragraph>.

The footnote format is <chapter>.<paragraph>-fn<footnote>.

Lord of the Rings (LR)

The main text format is <book>.<chapter>.<paragraph>.

The prologue format is:

  • pr.head
  • pr.<section>.head
  • pr.<section>.<paragraph>
  • pr.note.head
  • pr.note.<paragraph>

The main text is done and reconciled with Erik Mueller-Harder’s work. A draft of the prologue and appendices is complete but are not reconciled. Footnotes still need to be incorporated.

Silmarillion (S)

At the top level, split into five parts, AL, VQ, QS, AK, and RP, the third being the Quenta Silmarillion split into chapters. Hence QS.19 is Chapter 19 of the Quenta Silmarillion.

  • AL.head
  • AL.subhead
  • AL.<paragraph>
  • VQ.head
  • VQ.subhead
  • VQ.<section>.head
  • VQ.<section>.<paragraph>
  • VQ.trailer
  • QS.head
  • QS.subhead
  • QS.<chapter>.head
  • QS.<chapter>.<paragraph>
  • QS.trailer
  • AK.head
  • AK.subhead
  • AK.<paragraph>
  • AK.ep.<paragraph>
  • RP.head
  • RP.subhead
  • RP.<paragraph>

  • Silmarillion Citation System Index

Unfinished Tales

After an intro, Unfinished Tales is make up of parts made up of chapters. Chapters may have sections, commentary, notes, and one or more appendices.

Paragraphs are sometimes grouped into chunks written either by JRRT or CJRT.

The follow patterns can be found.

  • intro.head
  • intro.0.<paragraph>
  • intro.<part>.head
  • intro.<part>.<chapter>.head
  • intro.<part>.<chapter>.<paragraph>
  • <part>.head
  • <part>.<chapter>.head
  • <part>.<chapter>.subhead
  • <part>.<chapter>.<paragraph>
  • <part>.<chapter>.<section>.head
  • <part>.<chapter>.<section>.<paragraph>
  • <part>.<chapter>.<section>.<chunk>.<paragraph>
  • <part>.<chapter>.<chunk>.<paragraph>
  • <part>.<chapter>.<king>.head
  • <part>.<chapter>.<king>.<paragraph>
  • <part>.<chapter>.commentary.head
  • <part>.<chapter>.commentary.<paragraph>
  • <part>.<chapter>.notes.head
  • <part>.<chapter>.notes.00.head
  • <part>.<chapter>.notes.00.<paragraph>
  • <part>.<chapter>.notes.<note>.<paragraph>
  • <part>.<chapter>.appendix.head
  • <part>.<chapter>.appendix.subhead
  • <part>.<chapter>.appendix.00.head
  • <part>.<chapter>.appendix.00.<paragraph>
  • <part>.<chapter>.appendix.<section>.head
  • <part>.<chapter>.appendix.<section>.<chunk>.<paragraph>
  • <part>.<chapter>.appendix.<chunk>.<paragraph>
  • <part>.<chapter>.appendices.head
  • <part>.<chapter>.appendices.<appendix>.head
  • <part>.<chapter>.appendices.<appendix>.<chunk>.<paragraph>

A draft index is available:

History of Middle-earth

Considerable work done for Volumes 4 and 6. More details soon.

Children of Húrin

Most of the work done. Available for review soon.

Beren and Lúthien

The Fall of Gondolin

History of the Hobbit

Nature of Middle-earth

Work commenced. More details soon.

Letters (LT)

The letters are currently just identified by a three-digit number referring to the letter number. Notes and footnotes are not yet included.


More details soon.