Famous Books and Library Collections

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Famous Books:

Red Book of Westmarch - The original copy was a large book with red leather covers. It contained Bilbo's diary and account of his adventures with the dwarves in TA 2941, an account of the War of the Ring, three volumes of Bilbo's Translations from the Elvish, and a volume of genealogies and other topics contributed by one of Sam's descendants. Sam gave the Red Book to his daughter, Elanor. It was then kept by the Fairbairns in Westmarch.

The first and most important copy of this book was the Thain's Book. That copy was made at the request of King Elessar and kept in Minas Tirith. Thain Peregrin brought the copy to him in FO 64 when Peregrin retired to Gondor. The Thain's Book was again copied at the request of the great-grandson of Peregrin Took and was completed in FO 172 (S.R. 1592). This copy was made by Findegil in Gondor. Findegil's copy, which was the only one to have all of Bilbo's Translations from the Elvish, was kept at the Great Smials. It also had corrections of names, words, and quotations in the Elvish languages as made by scholars from Gondor and part of the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen. The tale was written by Barahir, the grandson of Steward Faramir, after the death of the King. The book was known as the Red Book of the Periannath in Gondor.

The Red Book has a large number of Hobbit verses. Many were made by Bilbo Baggins and his friends while others are older pieces. Some are found on loose leaves or in the margins and blank spaces of other writings. Hobbits are fond of strange words, rhymes, and metrical tricks. Many of the verses appear to be light-hearted but may have underlying meanings.

The Tale of Years - A chronology of the history of Middle Earth, composed at the Great Smials with the assistance of material from Meriadoc Brandybuck. Additional assistance may have been provided by Celeborn and the sons of Elrond, who still lingered at Rivendell.

Yellowskin or Year-Book of Tuckborough - By the end of the Third Age, the Yellowskin was the oldest book in the Shire. Started around TA 2000, it had Took births, deaths, marriages, land-sales, and Shire-events as recorded by generations of Tooks. Some of the information was also recorded in the Red Book of Westmarch.

Famous Library Collections:

The Brandy Hall Library in Bucklebury had many books concerning Eriador and Rohan.

The Library at the Great Smials contained manuscripts from Gondor, including histories and summaries relating to Elendil and his descendants, the history of Numenor, and the rising of Sauron. The Tale of Years was put together at the Great Smials with the addition of materials from Meriadoc Brandybuck. This was a chronology of important dates in Middle Earth.

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Sources include the Tolkien Reader