[OASIS] Harvard University Library
OASIS: Online Archival Search Information System
http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.Hough:hou02178View HOLLIS Record   Frames Version
Questions or Comments   Copyright Statement
MS Am 2717

Baker Street Irregulars (Organization : U.S). Baker Street Irregulars (Organization : U.S.) archive, 1923-2007: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Cataloging funded by the Baker Street Irregulars

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository, b, pf
Call No.: MS Am 2717
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Baker Street Irregulars (Organization : U.S.).
Title: Baker Street Irregulars (Organization : U.S.) archive,
Date(s): 1923-2007.
Quantity: 1 collection (20 linear feet (59 boxes and 1 portfolio box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are chiefly in English; some material in Dutch.
Abstract: Papers and records of the Baker Street Irregulars, a Sherlock Holmes literary society, including correspondence, business files, and publications.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2005M-20. Gift of Michael F. Whelan; received: 2005 September 29.
2005M-55. Gift of Glen Seth Miranker; received: 2005 September 29.
2005M-55. Gift of Bob Coghill; received: 2006 May 26.
2006M-28. Gift of Bob Coghill; received: 2007 May 4.
2006M-28. Gift of Thomas Dandrew, Doug Elliott, Andrew G. Fusco, Donald B. Izban, Jens Byskov Jensen, Irving Kamil, Jerry Kegley, Laurie R. King, Kenneth C. Lanza, Jerry Margolin, Julie McKuras, Russell Merritt, Charles A. Meyer, Richard Olken, Andrew Peck, Barbara Roden, Albert M. Rosenblatt, Betsy J. Rosenblatt, Steven Rothman, Regina Stinson, Richard J. Sveum, Susan Vizoskie, Jerry Wachs; received: 2007 December.
2006M-66. Gift of unknown; received: date unknown.
2006S-3. Gift of Dan Posnansky; received: 2007 June 15.
2006S-4. Gift of Thomas Cynkin; received: 2007 June 15.
2007M-27. Gift of Harold Billings, Vincent Brosnan, Joseph Coppola, Michael Harrell, Leslie S. Klinger, George McCormack; received: 2007 December.
2007M-27. Gift of Leslie S. Klinger; received: 2008 February 4.
2007M-27. Gift of Colin Prestige; received: 2008 March.
2007M-27. Gift of Baker Street Irregulars award committee, Catherine Cooke, Thomas J. Francis, Lou Lewis, Harold E. Niver, Robert E. Robinson, Thomas Louis Stix, Jr.; received: 2008 April 25.
2007M-27. Gift of Arthur Levine; received: 2008 November 10.
2008M-61. Gift of Donald K. Pollock.


Additional information available in internal file.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Ashley M. Nary

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.
A portion of this collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Special Equipment Required for Access:

Collection includes vinyl record albums, CD-ROMs, and 1 floppy disk.

Conditions Governing Use:

Images of letters by Christopher Morley are made available for personal research use only; for other usage, please contact the Estate of Christopher Morley.
Images of letters by Edgar W. Smith are made available for personal research use only; for other usage, please contact the Estate of Edgar W. Smith.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Baker Street Irregulars (Organization : U.S.) Archive, 1923-2007 (MS Am 2717). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

See also: Speckled Band Collection of Sherlockiana (MS Eng 1333.3).

Biographical / Historical

In January of 1934, Christopher Morley hosted a party to celebrate the birthday of fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and unintentionally started what would become the Baker Street Irregulars (BSI) - one of the most preeminent Sherlockian societies in the world. Interest in the society grew rapidly after its formation was announced in Morley's Saturday Review of Literature columns "The Bowling Green" and "Trade Winds." In an effort to include only the most knowledgeable Sherlockians in the organization, Morley published a Sherlock Holmes crossword puzzle created by his brother Frank and announced that anyone who solved the entire puzzle would obtain official BSI membership.
The first official meeting took place in June 1934 and it was soon decided that, whenever possible, annual dinner meetings would be held in January to honor Sherlock Holmes' birthday. Annual meetings included toasts, speeches, and papers on Sherlockian topics as well as the official investiture of distinguished members. As the BSI grew in size through the 1930s, members formed scion societies in numerous cities across the United States. Scions and other Sherlockian societies hold their own meetings and events and many publish newsletters.
In 1946, the BSI began publishing the Baker Street journal (BSJ), the society's official publication. Additional society-sponsored publications include the BSI archival series, which details the history of the society, the Baker Street Irregulars manuscript series, which analyzes original Arthur Conan Doyle manuscripts, and a third series which offers an international perspective on Sherlockian topics.


Arranged into the following series:

Scope and Contents

The Baker Street Irregulars' archive contains the official records of the BSI and the papers of BSI members from its founding in the 1930s through the present. Strengths of the collection include correspondence, business files, and event files. Particular items of note include correspondence to and from Edgar Wadsworth Smith, Christopher Morley, and Vincent Starrett as well as signed menus from annual BSI dinners. The study of fictional characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson and their creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is well documented in the publications, commentary and research, and catalog and bibliography series.


A portion of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information. [Boxes 1-11, 48-51 and 53 (PF) are shelved at Houghton; boxes 12-47, 52, 54-60 shelved at Harvard Depository].

Container List