Sunday, December 22, 2013

HASA How-to - Resources pt. I

This week we take a look at HASA’s Resources section.

How do I...

...find my way in Resources?

Obviously, the Resources area provides resources to writers, but it is also a great place to look around in for a non-author who is looking for information about characters or places.

The core of Resources is the Research Library, which contains many facts and citations from the Ardaverse. There are detailed articles on people, places, things and the events that tie them together. There is also a URL library linking to sites of interest to the JRRT fandom. There are research articles and critical essays written by our members, and a discussion forum on wide ranging topics.

The Reference Library

The Reference Library is designed to gather the facts about various subjects in one easily searchable area. It currently consists of Character Biographies, Events, Places, and Things. Each entry is referenced to a quote in Tolkien, so the member may refer to the original source. Members who are authors can link their stories to any of the Research Library entries.

Character Biographies

All the listed characters have simple fact sheets, containing very basic information such as date of birth and death when known, close relatives, and physical description.

For some characters the fact sheets are a starting point, in contrast to some of the minor characters where the fact sheets contain everything that is known. A number of fact sheets are associated with essays that are more detailed, and which may contain speculation supported by references.

Timeline Events

You can look up Timeline events alphabetically, by event type, by era and by date range. They are presented in chronological order, and are cross-referenced to other research library entries.

If you want to know exactly who did what, when, where and how, timeline events can probably provide the answer.


Places contains information on locations mentioned by Tolkien, whether in the text or on the maps he drew. Our goal is detailed information on the complete list of places, with accompanying references.


The Things section contains detailed information on various objects, from the physical such as ships or weapons, to songs, to constructs such as the White Council.  

The URL Library

The URL Library is a collection of web page links, organized by general categories, covering both Tolkien's works and other topics of general interest to HASA members. Members are encouraged to submit interesting links.

Research Articles and Critical Essays

These are non-fiction works about a particular subject useful to fanfic writers or to anyone who wants to know more about a subject. Current articles and essays range from personality traits of horses to in-depth character studies to geopolitics. Any subject involving Tolkien's writing, fanfic, or life in Middle-earth or the West is fair game.

Who writes Research Articles and Critical Essays?

HASA members write them. Many authors have done research in preparation for a story and then contribute their knowledge in the form of an article or Reference Library entry. There are several articles posted and HASA is always eager to expand the section. If you write a research article or a critical essay, please link it into Resources by going to the Articles & Essays pages.

What kind of searches can I do?

A-Z Index - This part of the site provides alphabetical lists of all the Research Library entries. Each kind of research item (People, Places, Things, Events) also has alphabetical listings.

Full text search - This takes a little more practice. This search can do complex Boolean free text search of the contents of all the research library entries.

Each library entry type has a search available to sort, slice and dice on its main categories for quick filtering of entries.

What is the Resources Forum?

This is the gathering place for the Resources geeks and anyone who wants to pick their brains.

You can discuss just about anything to do with Tolkien's works, what life might have been like in Middle-earth, or the intricacies of writing about it. Geography, character speculation, daily life, grammar, economics... You think it up, someone will probably want to discuss it.

Many discussions start as research questions. This is the place to ask questions, and bring your expertise to answer others. This is also a place to discuss the nuts and bolts of writing, beta reading, and associated issues.

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