When illustrator Pauline Baynes was hired by publisher Allen & Unwin in 1970 to produce illustrations for a new edition of The Lord of the Rings, she corresponded with J.R.R. Tolkien to make sure she got everything right. Fast forward to 2015, and a copy of a map of Middle Earth from that correspondence has been discovered, with detailed annotations written by Tolkien himself.
The map is full of little details, like how Hobbiton is on the same latitude as Oxford, and uses Belgrade, Cyprus, and Jerusalem as points of reference. Tolkien is really one of the first notable authors to be obsessed with world building, and the level of detail in his notes shows this quite clearly.
Technically, you can own this yourself if you feel like shelling out a pretty penny for it. Blackwell’s is currently selling the map for £60,000.
Via The Guardian