The David Oberhelman J.R.R. Tolkien Exhibit
The David Oberhelman J.R.R. Tolkien Exhibit was created to honor the life of former OSU Librarian David Oberhelman. Dr. Oberhelman was an avid J.R.R. Tolkien fan with an extensive collection of memorabilia, unique editions, and merchandise encompassing all of the author’s bibliography. After his unfortunate and untimely passing, Dr. Oberhelman’s entire collection was left to the OSU Library to enter the University Archives. The exhibit was on display in the Edmon Low Library from August 2020 to May 2021.
This exhibit honors Dr. Oberhelman’s legacy by putting a large swath of his collection on display for the Stillwater community to enjoy and learn from. J.R.R. Tolkien’s life work is explored in detail throughout the text of the exhibit, giving readers a much richer understanding of the iconic author and the world he created.
As an avid fan of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings movies as a child, I had a lot of fun planning, researching, writing, and designing this exhibit. Dr. Oberhelman’s collection is a sight all on its own, and was already full of eye catching items to put on display. I sought to compliment these items by sprinkling in references to Tolkien’s world throughout the design elements and including large prints of art from the collection as well as maps detailing the paths taken in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I also illustrated a Tolkien-esque caricature of Dr. Oberhelman to include in his memory.