Lovers of the works of JRR Tolkien can be expected to make their own quest to Oxford this year, as the city’s Bodleian Library hosts treasures almost as precious as the Dark Lord Sauron’s One Ring.

The creative genius of The Lord of the Rings author will be the focus of a major new exhibition at the Bodleian’s Weston Library.

The Oxford University institution houses the largest collection of original Tolkien manuscripts in the world, and from June 1 until October 28 Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth will explore the power of the author’s literary imagination.

A new book, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, will be published on May 25 to celebrate Tolkien as a scholar, artist and author, using his own words, drawings and designs.

Bodley’s Librarian, Richard Ovenden, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this unparalleled exhibition of Tolkien materials that will take visitors beyond what they know of Tolkien from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and introduce them to his extraordinary repertoire of work as an artist, poet and scholar.

“The exhibition will reunite fascinating works from the Bodleian’s foremost Tolkien archive with items from the United States and private collections, bringing them together in the city where Tolkien wrote his most famous works.

“Summer may seem a long way off but we wanted to give visitors an opportunity to mark their diaries and make plans to attend this unprecedented exhibition.”

A new Tolkien biopic is now being filmed, starring Nicholas Hoult as the author and Lily Collins as the love of his life.

It will chart the story of Tolkien’s earlier years as a lovelorn soldier who returned from the Great War.

The movie Tolkien, directed by Finnish filmmaker Dome Karukoski, is being filmed mostly across the north of England, with some scenes shot in Oxford.

New Line Cinema is also understood to be making a Tolkien film called Middle Earth, directed by James Strong, who worked on period drama Downton Abbey.

This film will focus on Tolkien’s courtship with Edith Bratt, who would later become his wife.

JRR Tolkien arrived in Oxford aged 19 to study Classics at Exeter College. After serving in France during the First World War he returned to Oxford.

He died in 1973 and is buried with wife Edith at Wolvercote Cemetery in Oxford.

The free Bodleian exhibition will feature manuscripts, artwork, maps and letters from the Bodleian’s extensive Tolkien Archive, and artefacts from private collections.

Other items on display will include photos and letters from Tolkien’s childhood and student days.

Particularly touching is a collection of handwritten illustrated letters from Father Christmas, written by Tolkien to his four children.

When Tolkien’s three-year old son, John, asked who Father Christmas was, and where he lived, Tolkien wrote a reply from Santa, starting a tradition that would continue for the next 23 years.

Every Christmas Eve, from 1920 to 1943 when his youngest child Priscilla was 14, Tolkien would sit in his study and write a letter to his children from Father Christmas, accompanying them with beautiful illustrations.

Catherine McIlwaine, Tolkien Archivist at the Bodleian Libraries, said: “The Father Christmas letters are some of my favourite items in the exhibition. The letters were delivered by the postman, who’d been persuaded by Tolkien to deliver them with the rest of the post, or arrived on the hearth with specially made stamps from the North Pole, marked with the cost of postage ‘2 kisses’. They contained news from the North Pole where Father Christmas lived with his ‘helper’ the North Polar Bear, who often got into trouble and caused twice as much work for Father Christmas.

“As the Tolkien children grew older, the letters from Father Christmas grew longer and the tales became darker and more thrilling.”

In an exciting letter from 1932 goblins make an appearance, living in the caves underneath the North Pole and stealing the children’s presents from Father Christmas’s cellars. Some of the letters were written when Tolkien was engaged in writing one of his most famous works, The Hobbit. The goblins and wargs in that story began to spill over into Father Christmas’s letters. Elves, called Red Gnomes, also appear, coming to Father Christmas’s aid in his battles with the goblins.

* Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth is at the Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, from June 1 to October 28