A STUNNING Bodleian Library exhibition about Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien has attracted more than 100,000 visitors, making it the attraction’s most popular summer exhibition to date.

The unmissable show presents the most extensive collection of materials related to the fantasy author gathered for public display.

It features more than 200 items including never-before-seen illustrations, letters, draft manuscripts, fan mail and personal objects.

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, which opened in June at the Weston Library in Broad Street, examines the breadth of Tolkien’s unique literary imagination, from his creation of Middle-earth - the imagined world where his best-known works The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are set - to his life and work as an artist, poet, medievalist and scholar of languages.

The exhibition is a must for Tolkien obsessives gathering at St Antony’s College for the annual Oxonmoot convention this weekend.

Tolkien Society chairman Shaun Gunner said it was the biggest ever attendance, with more than 300 Tolkien fans gathering in the city.

He added: “This is the largest ever Oxonmoot - a testament to the growing popularity of Tolkien and his works. The event has been going for over 40 years and provides an excellent opportunity for hundreds of fans from around the world to come together for a weekend of fun and fellowship in Oxford, a location so important to Tolkien.”

Oxonmoot includes a talk by writer John Garth, workshops, an art exhibition, a masquerade, a Hobbit bake-off and Enyalie, a ceremony of remembrance at Tolkien’s grave in Wolvercote Cemetery tomorrow.

The Bodleian’s free show has drawn in fans from across the UK and and overseas, including from Japan, Norway, France, Mexico and the United States.

Some have left drawings and messages in Tolkien’s Elvish language in the visitor book.

Bodley’s Librarian Richard Ovenden said: “We are delighted at the incredible response to our Tolkien exhibition.

“We encourage visitors to make the most of the next few weeks to come and enjoy the unparalleled selection of Tolkien materials on show and discover more about this creative and literary genius.”

Catherine McIlwaine, Tolkien Archivist and curator of the exhibition, said: “We knew that Tolkien was as popular today as ever but it’s been amazing to see the response to the exhibition.

“I’ve spent five years preparing the exhibition and it’s been brilliant to read the comments, hear people’s reactions, and just see how busy the gallery has been.”

A range of Tolkien-related talks and lectures will continue at the Weston Library next month, including a special evening viewing on October 9 and a series of lectures exploring the medieval languages that Tolkien studied and taught.

Once the exhibition closes at the Bodleian on October 28, it will travel to the Morgan Library in New York in January, where it will remain until May.