The Tolkien newsgroups (rec.arts.books.tolkien and alt.fan.tolkien) once embarked on a grand project: the creation of an electronic text or ebook of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. O. Sharp started the project to create this etext in response to one of the all too frequent requests on the group for a text file of The Lord of the Rings (requests which all too often ignore the issue of copyright, I might add). We group regulars do get rather irritated by these requests, so we decided to provide an electronic text of The Lord of the Rings or something like it ourselves, once and for all. No, it's not in an eBook format, but it should still be, er, interesting.
In case you're wondering why I'm using the phrases "e-text", "electronic text", "text file", "etext", "ebook", and "electronic version" so often, it's really quite simple: I want to help everyone who uses a search engine to look for an electronic text of The Lord of the Rings to be able to find this page quickly and easily. That, incidentally, is also the reason that I am writing out the title The Lord of the Rings so many times: everyone who wants to find an E-Text of it should come to this site.
The texts themselves are available on O. Sharp's web site, at the URL
This is really the only page here that should be at all useful to those who want to actually read the text, though the organizational stuff below could still be interesting from a "historical" point of view. Also, the final few chapters may not be available on O. Sharp's site yet.
Now, the administrative junk for the E-text project!
The current list of assigned chapters may prove useful.
Most importantly, here are the current hints and guidelines for newsgroup members volunteering to contribute a chapter. Authors may also find Ms. Brady's list of names in the Etext to be helpful in keeping things straight.