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Byline: Jackie Loohauis
Once, decades ago, Marquette University was good to J.R.R. Tolkien, a little-known Catholic author of fantasies. Now that Tolkien's properties are blockbuster movies, they in turn are very good for Marquette, which is adding to its world-class collection of original Tolkien material.
Marquette, which already owns the complete 9,250-page original manuscript of "The Lord of the Rings," is acquiring a major collection of secondary sources about Tolkien, methodically collected by Grace E. Funk, a Vancouver, British Columbia, Tolkien enthusiast, since the early 1970s.
Marquette also will host an international conference on Tolkien's work in 2004.
According to Matt Blessing, Marquette University archivist, the Grace E. Funk Collection includes 2,376 items. Among them are volumes of the bootlegged Ace edition of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy that introduced many Americans to Tolkien's fantasy epic in the 1960s, along with hard-to-find articles …