There's not currently a literary center devoted to the late JRR Tolkien, among the world's most celebrated authors. But if celebrities including Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings films) have their way, there soon will be. A campaign called Project Northmoor is raising funds to purchase and renovate Tolkien's former home, in which he is believed to have written The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, per the BBC. The plan is to make the six-bedroom home in Oxford appear as it did when Tolkien lived there from 1930 to 1947. Actor John Rhys-Davies, who played Gimli in the films, says it would become a "literary hub that will inspire new generations of writers, artists and filmmakers." That's if the campaign can raise $6 million in three months, before the house is listed publicly for sale, per Variety.
Author Julia Golding, who started the campaign, knows that's a challenge. But "we need only to look at Frodo and Sam's journey from Rivendell to Mount Doom, which took that same amount of time—and we are inspired that we can do this too," she says, per the BBC. "We cannot achieve this without the support of the worldwide community of Tolkien fans, our fellowship of funders," says McKellen. The campaign is also backed by Hobbit actor Martin Freeman, Middle Earth illustrator John Howe, and Annie Lennox, who wrote and performed an Oscar-winning song for the film version of The Return of the King. If the campaign is successful, "Tolkien fans will be able to book onto courses and for other short stays at the house," according to the campaign website. You can donate here. (Read more JRR Tolkien stories.)