It’s my great pleasure to announce two new on-line resources supporting the world-wide community of Tolkien scholarship.
Tolkienists is chock-full of information about upcoming conferences (and current news about their status), calls for papers, and other news of interest to people working in the field of Tolkien Studies. The site even includes (with permission) recent postings from scholars’ independent blog sites. The aim is to provide a rich trove of permanent information for all, without the requirement of a Facebook or Google account. Please get in touch if you’d like to publish any information you think would be of interest to this audience.
Where Tolkienists is a resource essentially dedicated to one-way communication, TolkienMoot is an information-rich discussion forum, a crowdsourced clearinghouse for research resources! in the words of Janet Brennan Croft. Don’t feel like you have to have an advanced degree or that you need to be working in the field of English literature — if you’re seriously interested in Tolkien and his works, you’re welcome at TolkienMoot.
I am accepting donations to help pay for these sites. Taken altogether, the domain-name registration and the hosting for the two sites comes to $344/year — yes, that’s a little costly, but I’ve made the decision to host these properly with companies that specialize in hosting international web sites and forums with zero injected advertisements with a super-high degree of reliability.
And I’d like to move the TolkienMoot site from the U.S. to the same host’s servers in Germany. Their expenses are higher there, so this would add another $90/year to that $344. This would give us the added benefit of working within the legal framework of EU privacy laws (e.g., GDPR, NIS Directive — giving much more protection to TolkienMoot users) as well as their copyright and fair-use legislation (still somewhat draconian, but distinctly more fair than U.S. laws).
And though I have the technical chops to “roll my own,” I’d rather spend the time maintaining and improving the content of the sites than the mechanics of the sites. In addition, I have my own Tolkien-related projects that I don’t want to put on hold forever.
So that brings us back to the costs. A small number of kind people have been funding my work via my Patreon page. Thank you, sustainers! If we could increase that number just a bit, these sites — as well as the Tolkien Art Index and LR Citations — would have all their expenses covered, and I could continue to devote my time to them without also draining our savings. Thank you!