The Marion E. Wade Center features a museum that showcases memorabilia and rotating displays which highlight selections from our collection of books, letters, manuscripts, and artifacts. Through these exhibits we invite our visitors to explore more deeply the seven authors' lives, writings, and the historical context in which they lived. Permanent pieces on display in the museum include: a wardrobe owned by C.S. Lewisdesks and pens belonging to C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, bookshelves from Charles Williams, the eyeglasses of Dorothy L. Sayers, and Owen Barfield's chess set and pipe. Museum exhibits are changed regularly so check back often.


Current Exhibits

William of Sens Character Detail
  • "Oxford"
  • "The Canterbury Festival Plays"
  • "G.K. Chesterton's Detective Fiction"
  • "C.S. Lewis's 'Tales of Adventure'"
  • "Dorothy L. Sayers responds to scientist Fred Hoyle on BBC Radio" (interactive audio exhibit)
  • "J.R.R. Tolkien: A Film Portrait" (interactive video exhibit)
  • "Boxen: C.S. Lewis's Childhood Chronicles before Narnia" (interactive exhibit)


GKC as Toddler"The Wade Authors as Children" is an exhibit featuring childhood portraits of the Wade authors from the Wade Center's photograph collections. The display also discusses what their home environments were like growing up and their childhood interests and pursuits. Can you guess which author goes with which photo? Give it a try on your next visit.


Displays on The Hobbit

Hobbit displayOur large-scale map of Middle-earth invites you to follow the path of Bilbo Baggins the hobbit as he travels "there and back again," charting his journey through the story of The Hobbit. Along the way you will encounter trolls, goblins, spiders, mountains, rivers, and vast forests. Watch out for Smaug the dragon! A binder of letters written by school children to characters in the book is also included. This display celebrates the 75th anniversary of The Hobbit and features artwork by author J.R.R. Tolkien.

Hobbit Merchandise DisplayA central museum case holds another Hobbit-themed display: "The Hobbit: A Merchandise Journey." A sampling of commercial products (books, puzzles, buttons, games, and action figures) traces the manifestations that The Hobbit has undergone over the years, including merchandise from the 2012 film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. These pieces are from the Wade Center's merchandise collections, which document how our authors and their works interact with society. Come see it today!


Media Center