Sherlock Holmes is a fictional private detective created by the English writer and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes ran his private detective agency out of his home at the fictional address of 221B Baker Street. He was noted for wearing a deerstalker cap and smoking a calabash pipe - now a very common and iconic outfit scene in the Halloween costumes section of any store. Doyle wrote four novels and fifty-six short stories in which Holmes and his companion/ assistant Dr. Watson, who despite his best efforts could never quite keep up with his friend’s intuitive leaps, investigated and solved crimes that stumped the local law enforcement authorities. The first short stories featuring Holmes’ crime-solving prowess were published in the Strand Magazine in 1887. The most famous and memorable of the Sherlock Holmes stories include The Hound of the Baskervilles, A Study in Scarlet, A Scandal in Bohemia, The Sign of Four, and the Red-headed League. Holmes was a creature of the late Victorian era; the cases he solved were set in late nineteenth and early twentieth century London and its environs. With a relentlessly scientific approach to crime-solving influenced by Doyle’s medical training, Holmes set the tone for the mystery as a literary, theatrical, and film genre in the twentieth century. Holmes was not the first private detective to be found in the pages of fiction, but he stood apart from his literary precursors in his relentless emphasis on deductive reasoning and his seemingly preternatural powers of reasoning and analysis. One of Holmes catch phrases was "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." Through Holmes, Doyle promoted the concept of crime detection as a science; Holmes could even be seen as prototype of the forensic scientists on CSI and other crime procedurals on mainstream television.
Sherlock Holmes Museum: Located in a Georgian townhouse located on Baker Street in London, the Sherlock Holmes Museum is run by the Sherlock Holmes International Society. The first floor study of the townhouse has been designed and decorated to recreate Holmes’ study as described in Doyle’s novels and stories. The museum gives its address as 221B Baker Street, the address of the fictional Holmes. However, that exact street address technically does not exist on Baker Street, although the museum building bears the number 221B.
Sherlockian.net: A meticulously compiled list of resources on Sherlock Holmes, this page offers links to the texts of the original Holmes stories; books, articles, and scholarly journals on Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle; and information on Holmes’ London and the late Victorian era in England.
The Sherlock Holmes Society of London: The Sherlock Holmes Society of London, founded in 1951, is a literary and social society devoted to the study and appreciation of Sherlock Holmes. The society publishes a journal, sends out newsletters, and hosts a variety of Sherlock Holmes events.
Discovering Sherlock Holmes: A Community Reading Project: This online reading project/book club sponsored by Stanford University provides links to the texts to the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and a detailed portrait of life in London at the turn of the twentieth century.
Sherlock Holmes International: Sherlock Holmes International is an informational page with an international scope aimed at an international audience. The site includes a function that translates the text on the page into a variety of languages. Links to Sherlock Holmes societies and events all over the world are available, as are links to scholarly journals focusing on Holmes studies.
The Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota Library: This page provides an index of the special collection of Sherlock Holmes manuscripts and related holdings at the University of Minnesota Library. Guides to finding manuscript materials are included.
Bloomington by Gaslight, Sherlock Holmes in the Lilly Library: This guide to the University of Indiana Lilly Library’s Sherlock Holmes holdings discusses the genesis and development of the character of the private investigator in fiction, as well as how and where Holmes fits in that literary tradition. Information concerning the origins of Sherlock Holmes, the publication of the early Holmes stories in popular magazines, and Holmes-inspired fiction written after Doyle’s death is included.
Sherlock Holmes and Probabilistic Induction: This paper, prepared by Soshichi Uchii of Kyoto University for the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, touches upon the relationship between Holmes’ investigatory and deductive methods and the philosophy of science.
Indiana University: List of Electronic Texts Available at LETRS: This page provides a list of electronic texts on Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle available for download through Indiana University’s Library Electronic Text Resource Service (LETRS).
Arthur Conan Doyle The Prolific Writer, An Online Exhibit by the Westminster Libraries: This online exhibit on Arthur Conan Doyle includes information on his non-Holmes writings, a biography, and information concerning his time in the military, his interest in competitive sports, his beliefs with respect to spiritualism, and his participation in the investigation on real-life criminal cases.
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: This page provides links to the complete text of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in both text and PDF format with links to online book stores for those who prefer to read hard copies.
The Arthur Conan Doyle Society: The home page of the Arthur Conan Doyle Society provides links to various biographical and bibliographical studies of Doyle and his works, as well as an interview with Doyle’s daughter, Dame Jean Conan Doyle.
A Case of Considerable Interest: This exhibition celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Arthur Conan Doyle collection of the Toronto Public Library features a selection of Doyle’s published works, rare editions of the original stories, a representative sample of the adaptations and fictional tales that they have inspired, and items related to Doyle’s four visits to Canada.
Mostly Victorian.com: This site provides images of articles and illustrations from Victorian books and magazines and includes digital versions of the 1891 issues of the Strand Magazine in which several Sherlock Holmes stories first appeared.
Sherlock Holmes Collection at Westminster Libraries: This page provides a guide to the collection of Sherlock Holmes materials held by the Westminster Libraries, including a discussion of bibliographies on Holmes scholarship, biographies of Doyle, journals devoted to Holmes studies, scripts from films and plays featuring Sherlock Holmes, and non-canonical fiction featuring Sherlock Holmes written after Doyle’s death.
The Baker Street Journal: This scholarly journal devoted to Sherlock Holmes studies is published by the Baker Street Irregulars, an invitation-only literary and social society devoted to analysis and criticism of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the late-Victorian era.
The Baker Street Irregulars Trust: This branch of the Baker Street Irregular Society is conducting a special project involving the gathering of materials related to the history of the Baker Street Irregulars and similar organizations devoted to Sherlock Holmes.
The Beacon Society: This Sherlock Holmes society affiliated with the Baker Street Irregulars is aimed at introducing Sherlock Holmes to young readers.
Conan Doyle Crowborough Establishment: This society takes as its mission the promotion of the life and works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The Poor Folk Upon the Moors: The Poor Folk Upon the Moors is the name of the Sherlock Holmes Society of the South West of England. This area of England holds a special connection to Holmes as several of Doyle’s stories, including the beloved Hound of the Baskervilles, are set here. The society publishes a biannual journal called “The Torr” and the site includes links to pamphlets and monographs on Holmes-related topics.
Written by Michael S. Atwood