The Adventure of the Immortal Detective: Discovering Sherlock Holmes in the Archives
Doyle wrote “The Coming of the Fairies” (1922) in defense of the Cottingley fairy photographs, which he believed to be genuine. Arthur Conan Doyle photography collection.
A book from Doyle’s true crime library that previously belonged to W. S. Gilbert. London’s Newgate Prison was in operation for over 700 years, ending in 1902. Ellery Queen book collection.
Writer and editor Christopher Morley founded the Baker Street Irregulars, a fan society which also counted Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman as honorary members. Christopher Morley papers.
A. A. Milne, best remembered for creating Winnie-the-Pooh, celebrates Holmes and Watson in his nine-page essay “A Room on Baker Street.” A. A. Milne papers.
After the death of his wife in 1906 and his son in 1918, Doyle developed a strong interest in spiritualism, and became a noted writer and speaker on the subject. Arthur Conan Doyle vertical file.
Doyle amassed a large collection of spirit photography. This image features Harry Houdini, whose friendship with Doyle soured when the magician denied he had the supernatural powers Doyle attributed to him. Arthur Conan Doyle photography collection.
Doyle’s Ouija board. Arthur Conan Doyle personal effects collection. Photo by Pete Smith.
A pair of Doyle’s socks. Arthur Conan Doyle personal effects collection. Photo by Pete Smith.
The English master detective faces off against the French master thief in Maurice Leblanc’s “Arsène Lupin versus Herlock Sholmes.” Other authors to “borrow” Holmes include J. M. Barrie and Mark Twain. Ellery Queen book collection.
The international appeal of Sherlock Holmes became clear early. This play, the second in a series, premiered in Barcelona in 1909. Ellery Queen book collection.
Even Doyle himself was unable to kill off his popular detective: pressure from fans led him to resurrect Holmes a decade after his apparent death at Reichenbach Falls, as this sticker from the Baker Street Irregulars attests. Arthur Conan Doyle vertical file.