About the lrc site
This site provides a cross-reference for different settings of The Lord of the Rings.
The story thus far
The Lord of the Rings has been printed in dozens — perhaps hundreds — of settings since 1954. We now have editions that fit conveniently in pockets, that lend an air of sumptuous elegance to library shelves, that lie flat for scholarly perusal, and that are “just right” for bedtime-story reading.
Unfortunately, this has made it difficult to refer to passages unambiguously, since the text has a slippery habit of shifting from page to page as the size and layout of the page change. We as readers and scholars have found ourselves with many different paginations that have been used over the years to refer to the very same passages in The Lord of the Rings, and for those of us who don’t have each of these editions on our shelves, it has been be tedious to find the passages being referred to.
How lrc helps
If you have a page reference to an edition of The Lord of the Rings that you don’t own, you can enter it on this site and see what page it’s on in a setting that you do have.
It also works the other way around, of course: if you have, as it might be, an old Ballantine paperback but your friend has (or your teacher or publisher demands) citations keyed to a different edition, you can translate them here.
lrc currently cross-references five settings of The Lord of the Rings. For more information about the settings (and our references to Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull’s The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion and to Words, Phrases and Passages in The Lord of the Rings), see the blog entry at Pagination cross-reference for The Lord of the Rings.
New citation system
We’ve also introduced an (optional) new reference system, which isn’t keyed to any particular setting’s pages — but which instead provides a unique way to refer to each paragraph in The Lord of the Rings. See About the LR § citation system for much more information.
How lrc doesn’t help
For copyright reasons, this site isn’t and can never be a full-text index to The Lord of the Rings.
However, Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull’s revised index to The Lord of the Rings found at the end of (at least) the 50th Anniversary editions published by Houghton Mifflin (in the U.S.) and HarperCollins (in the U.K.) is “greatly enlarged compared to its predecessor” — and is highly recommended.
More comprehensive still is Robert Foster’s The Complete Guide to Middle-earth. In his foreword to Unfinished Tales (page 4), Christopher Tolkien writes that this book “supplies, as I have found through frequent use, an admirable work of reference.”
Creating this site involved a tremendous amount of detailed work which I could not possibly have done without help. I am especially indebted to my wife Karen, our child Cameron, and my colleague and friend Andy Peterson for their generosity of time, spirit, and eagle eyes. Five separate editions with more than 9,200 paragraphs apiece is a lot of cross-checking!
I’d like also to thank Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull for their kind correspondence and the invaluable tools they’ve provided the Tolkien community with their scrupulously edited edition of The Lord of the Rings and its greatly expanded index, as well as their correlative volume, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion.
Robert Foster, Marc Zender, Ray Saxon, Sonia Harder, Mark Kaminsky, Sandy Pucsek, Christian Harder, Dick Plotz, and my son Timothy have also given time and effort to provide excellent advice and welcome encouragement. Thank you!
Naturally, all culpability for errors belongs to Vermont Softworks, llc; that is, me.