“The Tolkien Shop started back in 1986. First via the mailing of catalogues (and am I glad no longer having to do that!) and going to bookfairs, later on via the website www.tolkienshop.com. But as a son of a shopkeeper I started to miss have a shop where I could display all the nice items and make it a walhalla for Tolkien fans. With the opening of my shop in Leiden (Holland) on August 1st 2003 that dream came true..
I have so much space available that I do not use it all for the shop. Meetings of the Dutch Tolkien Society Unquendor (such as my smial The Black Dragon) are held there and about a third is used to exhibited my private collection: The Tolkien Museum. In the museum (admission free) you can see first editions, autographed books, letters by Tolkien, translations from all across the world and items relating to Tolkien’s visit to Holland in 1958.
On 7 August 2004 was the official opening of the Tolkien Museum. About 200 people showed up. They heard speeches and enjoyed a concert by the Italian folkband Lingalad. Because of the very hot weather they gave the concert outside, alongside the canal (see picture). Members of the Belgian Tolkien Society Elanor gave a martial arts display, for which the trafic had to stop. Well, which motorist would not stop for three full armed nazgûl in the middle of the street….”