1968 Belknap College Tolkien Conference

The first scholarly Tolkien conference held was held in October of 1968 at Belknap College in New Hampshire. It was organized by Ed Meskys and held under the auspices of the American Tolkien Society. It was not as dry as conferences later became, but it was not a fannish convention, either. The attendees were mostly fans with a serious interest in Tolkien.

Conference highlights included a display of Tolkien manuscripts from Marquette University, paper presentations and a performance of Farmer Giles of Ham.

Unfortunately, the conference also acquired the name of Flycon. It was held in a newly-finished college building and for some real, enormous quantities of flies hatched in the hall each day — contemporary reports indicated a five-gallon can of dead flies were swept out each day.


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