Call for Volunteers!

This project is a communal project, and it will take many small hands doing what they must to get it all up and running. As one of those pairs of small hands, I’d like to ask for your help, if you are willing to give it, in developing this project.

In this thread, please introduce yourself! I’d love to meet you all! Please tell us a bit about yourself, the skills you’d like to bring to the project, and if you have any particular tasks or ideas in mind that you’d like to be a part of. It will be wonderful to get to know you, and to work with you on this excellent project!
I’ll go first:

My name is Jenni Aldred, aka Smaug the Mighty. I am the project coordinator for this project, and am very excited to be working with all of you to create a wonderful online resource and community hub! I’m from Melbourne, Australia, I have a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Television with Honours, and I currently work as a Foley Artist and Sound Editor for feature films. I grew up watching the Peter Jackson LOTR films – they are what inspired me to enter the film industry as a career – and then I fell in love with the books when I read them in high school. I volunteered to be a part of getting this project started, and ended up offering to coordinate the project, as I have a lot of ideas about how to set it up and get it started. I want to make sure others have to opportunity to expand on those ideas, and provide new ideas, so that the project will grow to be much more than I can imagine!


New Member
Hi! My name is Catherine Manley, i'm in Austin Texas. I am a broadcast director and producer for live streaming events. I do some graphic design, lots of video editing and some social media work. Pretty happy to help with anything that needs doing, this looks like it's going to be a fun project to be a part of... and i'm here for it!


New Member
Hi. I am Tyler, From the San Francisco Bay Area, and I am a Software Developer. I haven't done much in terms of web development, but am willing and can code.

I was also introduced to The Lord of the Rings initially through the movies, which naturally lead me down the deep rabbit hole of the various works of Tolkien. Recently discovered Exploring Lord of the Rings, and when the prospect of this Legacy project came up, I was very excited to see where it would go, and hope I can contribute in some way to make it happen.


New Member
Mae g'ovannen! I'm Josh (TheLeft) from Lynchburg, Virginia. I'm a long-time general-purpose nerd, and a software developer. Primarily I work on complex web apps, but also do backend server stuff as well, and I'd love to learn other things that I haven't experienced yet. I also love volunteering for things without considering the consequences!

Whatever technical solution is needed, I'm happy to jump in with what I know, and learn what I don't.


New Member
Hello friends! I'm Ben, from NC. I write mostly data-driven code and web development (mostly backend, but some frontend stuff) and I'm happy to contribute those skills in any way to this project.


New Member
Hey! Emily Wagner from Denver, Colorado. I don't have any programming or technical expertise to offer. My skills lie more in writing, editing, and proofreading. I can make it sound nice, while the rest of you figure out how to get it online. :)

I've been reading Tolkien since my friend introduced me to LOTR in Jr. High many decades ago, and I've been thoroughly enjoying the Ex-LOTR discussions. To be able to participate in a project like this to share our love for Middle-earth with more people is exciting!

Frau Holle

New Member
Hello! I'm Katharina from Germany. I study digital forensics/ cybersecurity and do pretty much programming as a hobby. I usualy do Java Applications and Android Apps, but I started with web development a while ago for a specific project. I have still many things to learn but I'm flexible, learn fast and hope to improve my skills.


Well-Known Member
Hi, Mark Schennum from Massachusetts. I have been a sailor all my life, with 5 years of a well spent youth crewing and skippering large square-rigged ships and sailing yachts around the Caribbean and South Pacific. I've been a Managing Director of large companies, and a Management Consultant. I have a degree in Medieval History (and an MBA). All fairly irrelevant background. A long time LOTR fan. Been listening to Corey's podcasts since before Exploring Lord of the Rings began.

I would be interested in trying to organize the thoughts and discussions from the forums. It seems obvious to try to connect the forums to the class sessions they are referring to (these are not always close by date). It might be possible to categorize forum posts as: questions; observations; interpretations; speculations; (though some posts could encompass several of these categories). There are also questions as to how much to summarize posts, how to link, etc. etc.

If anyone has thoughts on how to organize a method to make the forum posts more findable, searchable, summarizable, and useful, please chip in.

ruth barratt

Active Member
Hello all, Ruth coming to you from the lovely UK.
You may know me as Rosiebug from LOTRO or as the crazy woman with the word logging spreadsheets.
I'm happy to help out any way I can.
I don't have a lot of fancy skills but as a lab geek, I'm good at collecting large amounts of data into something useful as well as managing projects that have a lot of very different moving parts that don't want to be managed :)

Shout if you need me and I'll be there.


Hi. My name is Jonah. I’m a Catholic priest in the Dominican Order currently living in New York City and ministering in hospitals. I’ve long been a Tolkien fan and became more of one when I discovered Ex-TLOTR during a COVID quarantine in 2020. I’m especially interested in Tolkien’s philosophical and theological ideas as expressed in TLOTR. My religious confession and education might bias my understanding of those ideas. But since Tolkien shared my Catholic bias, it could be more help than harm. I would be glad to contribute to this project in the ways I might be able.

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
Hi - I'm Rachel and I have no tech skills, but I'm interested in the writing, compiling, editing side of things. I'm in Tucson AZ. I first read LOTR in 1966 and have been reading it ever since. I'm loving the analysis in Exploring LOTR, and keep learning more.


Active Member
Hi! I was a physicist and now I'm a lawyer, in the NYC area. I do some non-project Java programming (i.e. mostly one-off programs, but some quite sizable ones--but I've never done nothing involving a team, unit testing, etc.). (I also know C, C++, Fortran, Python, some JavaScript, SQL, Ruby, LaTeX, etc.) I also really love Excel.

I also do a lot of Natural Language Processing--Stanford CoreNLP, TensorFlow, Apache OpenNLP, etc.

Glad to contribute in some way. (I don't do intellectual property law, alas!)

Last edited:


New Member
Carrie.Gross doesn't seem to have Signumu Forum access. So their alt ego is here to volunteer! Copy Editing, Wiki editing, Transcribing, Links tracker, that sort of thing. As well as any other time-consuming wordy assignment you might need.
Ahoy-hoy! Ardent Crayon here. No particular skills or knowledge to contribute, other than being generally nerdy and a fan of LoTR since I first read the books some 30 years ago. Happy to help if I can!


New Member
Howdy, everyone!

I’m Ashley from a somewhat large town (large for OK) Oklahoma. I am currently a high school English teacher, a job I adore, but in the past I was an editor for a small literature publication. I am absolutely thrilled to participate in this project. I inherited my love for Tolkien from my father, and for the last thirty years, I have soaked in every ounce of his works. I feel like my skills will be best used on the organization of information and ideas, writing, editing, etc.
A topic that I am very interested in organizing is the discussions about Tolkien’s grammar and word choices throughout the novel. It has been a joy to participate in discussions concerning Tolkien’s appreciation for language.
Also, I do not claim to be an expert of all things technology, but the pandemic and virtual learning have taught me a lot.

I cannot wait to get started!

Don Standing

New Member
Don Standing is the name. I taught English for 35 years, so what strengths I have are in the writing and editing areas. I have no tech skills other than word processing and even that I would not call a strength.
I live to serve
Hi all,

Greg here from sunny Florida. I have an MBA with a concentration in information systems. I have worked most recently in backend web development.

I love a good excel document. I have some familiarity with SQL and have worked in data analytics in the past. I mostly program in JavaScript but I know my way around Python and Powershell.

I read the hobbit in ~5th grade and then devoured LOTR and the Silmarillion after that. I fell in love all over again when the movies came out. The Exploring LOTR podcast is the only podcast where I can’t wait for the next episode. I’m enamored with Tolkiens world and I feel like there is a real community here that cares about it in a way unlike any other.


Active Member
I’m especially interested in Tolkien’s philosophical and theological ideas as expressed in TLOTR.
You should consider reading “The Flame Imperishable: Tolkien, St Thomas Aquinas and the Metaphysics of Faerie” by McIntosh. I’ve only read the first half, but it’s fantastic.