Marion E Wade Center Logo (without the)

Visiting Groups

visiting groups

As a research center and museum, the Wade Center is dedicated to preserving the legacies of our seven authors and sharing them with the public through our exhibitions, programming, and holdings.

We have established rules so that visitors can have the best experience possible and we can continue to preserve the works for future generations. With that in mind, please take the following actions with your group prior to your visit:

  • Divide the group into groups of six (6) students or less and assign a responsible adult to accompany each group.
  • Instruct students of proper museum behavior, and ask chaperones to reinforce these expectations:
    • Use quiet voices
    • Avoid bringing in backpacks; any backpacks that are brought need to be left at the coat rack or in the Wade classroom
    • Do not bring in food, beverages, or gum
    • Do not run
    • Do not climb on top of or underneath cabinets, museum artifacts, or displays
    • Do not touch or pull things from the displays
    • At most two students should be in the restrooms at one time
    • Book shop merchandise, which includes post cards, is only to be handled if the student is interested and able to purchase something

Thank you in advance for your assistance in helping us to preserve the Wade’s world-class collection of artifacts.

  1. School Group

    Teachers should be aware that the Wade Center has a small sales area that contains such items as postcards, bookmarks, and note cards, ranging in price from $.80-$1.35, as well as books, posters, and other more expensive merchandise. Past experience has shown that students are disappointed when they see the postcards, but do not have money to purchase them. If school policy permits bringing money on field trips, you may wish to inform the children in advance. Please note that the Wade Center is not asking you to encourage the children to purchase postcards, nor do we mention the materials for sale in our presentation.
  2. Groups, whose schedule permits, may also wish to visit the Perry Mastodon exhibit. This display can be viewed in the Science Center atrium (and thus requires no reservations).

Group Programming

The Wade Center is pleased to offer the following program options for groups of ten or more guests. Scheduling group presentations at least 3 weeks in advance is required, and only available as staffing allows. Audience age appropriateness and length of presentations are noted below. Times do not include anticipated length of question and answer sessions after the presentation. For further details on any of the offerings below, or to schedule a visit, please contact the Wade Center.

Requests for programs and lectures on other Wade author-related topics not listed will be considered depending on staff time and availability.

Available Presentations by Topic

  • Wade Center overview (20 minutes)
  • Presentations on the Wade Center’s archival procedures and collection practices (times vary)
  • Tours of the Reading Room and Museum areas (times vary)
  • A fact-finding hunt in the Wade Center Museum, two versions available; suitable for elementary through junior high ages (25 minutes)
  • “The Making of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien” (20 minutes)
  • “The Making of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien”  (30-45 minutes)
  • “Biography of C.S. Lewis” (20 minutes)
  • “Biography of J.R.R. Tolkien” (20-45 minutes depending on audience age)
  • “C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien: Authors and Friends,” combined biography of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien (30-45 minutes depending on audience age)
  • “Beyond Lewis and Tolkien: Getting to Know the Other Inklings” (1 hour)
  • "Tolkien's Beginnings: His Early Writings, Influences, and World War I" (1 hour)
  • Highlights of original materials from the Wade Center’s collections, such as first editions, and original letters and manuscripts. Contact the Wade for more information.
  • Sound and video recordings relating to the seven Wade authors, such as biographical documentaries, dramatic adaptations of their works, scholarly lectures, music, and interviews. Popular picks include:
    • The Magic Never Ends, a documentary on the life of C.S. Lewis (60 minutes, CSL-Y / VR-20)
    • "Experience and its Track: The Most Important Truth I have learned from C.S. Lewis," a talk by Dr. Clyde S. Kilby (70 minutes, audio only, CSL-Y / SR-61)
    • "The New Cosmology," a recording by Dorothy L. Sayers for BBC Radio in 1950 (15 minutes, audio only, DLS-V / SR-1)
    • The Fantasy Makers: Tolkien, Lewis, MacDonald, a documentary examining the profound impact that fantasy pioneers C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and George MacDonald have made on popular culture (90 minutes, JRRT-Y / VR-22)
  • Book discussion groups and guest lectures. See our current offerings.

Available Presentations by Age

  • A fact-finding hunt in the Museum (25 minutes)
  • “The Making of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien,” suitable for late elementary ages (20 minutes)
  • “Biography of C.S. Lewis” (20 minutes)
  • “Biography of J.R.R. Tolkien” (20 minutes)
  • A fact-finding hunt in the Museum (25 minutes)
  • “The Making of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien” (20 minutes)
  • “Biography of C.S. Lewis” (20 minutes)
  • “Biography of J.R.R. Tolkien” (30 minutes)
  • “C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien: Authors and Friends” (emphasis on Tolkien writing The Hobbit, along with biographical content for both authors, 30 minutes)
  • Wade Center overview (20 minutes)
  • Presentations on the Wade Center’s archival procedures and collection practices (times vary)
  • Tours of the Reading Room and Museum areas (times vary)
  • “The Making of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien” (20 minutes)
  • “The Making of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien” (30-45 minutes)
  • “Biography of C.S. Lewis” (20 minutes)
  • “Biography of J.R.R. Tolkien” (45 minutes)
  • “C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien: Authors and Friends,” combined biography of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien (45 minutes)
  • “Beyond Lewis and Tolkien: Getting to Know the Other Inklings” (1 hour)
  • "Tolkien's Beginnings: His Early Writings, Influences, and World War I" (1 hour)
  • The Man Born to be King by Dorothy L. Sayers (times vary)