"Data! data! data!" [Holmes] cried impatiently. "I can't make bricks without clay." (COPP) The Sherlockian Web surfer of today has more data at his or her disposal than even the Master could have assimilated. Whether one is interested in pursuing serious research, seeking out rare books or memorabilia, or keeping up with the doings of other Sherlockians, the World Wide Web provides vast stores of information. This modest survey attempts to help one pick out a few choice strands to follow.
First, some caveats:
- The Web is not "a fixed point in a changing age," (LAST) but rather a moving target in constant flux. Web sites and URLs disappear or change often and without notice. Sometimes a site's Web server may be temporarily down -- just try back later.
- Because of the Web's vastness and ephemeral nature, this survey is of necessity incomplete and will be outdated as soon as you view it.
- The quality of Web sites and the accuracy of their content is uneven, since most sites lack the editorial safeguards of print media. Many Sherlockian sites would not win any design awards, yet their enthusiasm helps one overlook any shortcomings.
Other comprehensive sites include Sherlocktron, Yoxley Old Place and The Diogenes Club. Sherlocktron, maintained by Willis Frick at http://www.sherlocktron.com, had its origins in a bulletin board service (BBS) from pre-Web days. Yoxley Old Place, maintained by Rick Freeman aka Porlock at http://webspace.webring.com/people/sp/porlock/, contains many useful links. (Note: This URL points to an older version of the site. The URL for the current version has not been working for some time.)
The Diogenes Club, maintained by David Cisler at http://www.diogenes-club.com/, invites browsing through The Library (The Canon [minus the Casebook], The Apocrypha, Writings on the Writings), The Gallery (Holmes-related artwork) and The Stranger's Room (links to other Holmes-related Web resources).
SHERLOCK HOLMES INTERNATIONAL, maintained by Sébastien Canevet at http://www.sherlock-holmes.org/english.htm, contains good lists of links with useful descriptions in seven languages: English, French, Italian, German, Danish, Spanish, and Japanese.
The PBS Web site has some interesting material in its Masterpiece Theatre section at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/hound/ in connection with the January 19, 2003 broadcast of an adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, starring Richard Roxburgh and Ian Hart. The site features essays, interviews, a teacher's guide and other nicely presented materials. A similar page at www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/silkstocking/ focuses on Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking, starring Rupert Everett as Sherlock Holmes and Ian Hart as Dr. Watson, which was broadcast on PBS Sunday, October 23, 2005.
Web rings are collections of sites with a common theme that link to each other. The Sherlockian world has two: the Baker Street Web Ring at http://hub.yourtakeonwords.com/hub/221b?rd=n and The Insidious Ring of Moriarty at http://delahanty.tripod.com/webring/moriarty.html. Many of the sites in this survey belong to one of these rings; some sites belong to both.
A nicely done site with text versions of the cases1 complete with most of the Sidney Paget illustrations is Michael Sherman's 221B Baker Street at http://221bakerstreet.org/. Many cases also are presented in Palm DOC and/or Adobe Acrobat format on this site. Even more complete is Camden House at http://www.ignisart.com/camdenhouse/main.htm, whose nicely formatted versions of the cases feature original illustrations by Sidney Paget, Frederic Dorr Steele and others. The text includes page numbers keyed to the Doubleday Canon. Another good site that features cases formatted for the Web is at http://www.mikekrejci.com/Doyle/. Many non-Holmes works by Conan Doyle are available here as well. An earlier incarnation of this site also once featured the cases collected in His Last Bow in audio versions for those with RealAudio capability. Unfortunately, the audio file links do not appear in the new version of the site.
Stanford University's Discovering Sherlock Holmes site at http://sherlockholmes.stanford.edu/index.html makes available facsimile copies of selected Holmes tales as they were first published in The Strand Magazine. Subscribers to the service received free paper copies in the mail from January - April, 2006, but if you missed out, all the issues are archived in PDF format on the site for viewing or download. Besides the Strand facsimiles, the site has informative background articles supplemented by period graphics and maps.
Searching for Sherlock at http://mrmoon.com/moonfind/holmes/index.mv is a Canonical concordance that allows you to search by keyword and quickly find the tales in which the keyword appears, in context. Check the "Exact" box for a phrase search, check the "Results" box if you want to view the line in which the keyword appears, type the word or phrase in the "New Search" field and press Enter.
The Sherlock Holmes Atlas at http://www.sherlock-holmes.org/atlas/sherlock_atlas.html will help you find the context for geographical references in the Canon. This site is still under construction.
Sherlock Holmes Quotes at http://www.sherlockholmesquotes.com/ is a nicely organized list of well-known (and some not so well known) quotations from the Canon.
The John Bennett Shaw list of 100 books (1988 revision) is online at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7846/shaw_yop.html.
Les Klinger's "Sifting the Writings upon the Writings," a valuable resource for Sherlockian scholars, is online in Adobe Acrobat format at http://www.bakerstreetjournal.com/images/Klinger%20edited.pdf. Note especially Les's list of contemporary (circa 1895) Victorian source material.
Many of the cornerstone Sherlockian reference works unfortunately do not include an index. Adrian Nebbett has happily remedied that situation by compiling indexes of many classic works by Bell, Blakeney, Baring-Gould, Holroyd, Brend, Roberts, Starrett and others. The indexes are available in RTF files that can be downloaded and printed out in Word or WordPerfect at http://www.schoolandholmes.com/sherlockiana.html. The site also includes many other interesting references, such as a list of anachronisms and other bloopers found in published pastiches.
The Sherlock Holmes Booklist at ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/books/holmes/list, compiled by Evelyn Leeper, is a plain text file that lists Holmes books, leaning heavily toward pastiche.
The Chronicles of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at http://www.siracd.com contains information about Conan Doyle's life, childhood and work. The site, maintained by M. Perry, includes a searchable database of over 400 quotes from the writings of Conan Doyle.
Bibliofind at http://www.bibliofind.com offers search services similar to ABE. Many specialty booksellers are affiliated with both ABE and Bibliofind. Although it has been absorbed by Amazon, Bibliofind still seems to offer the same services as when they were independent.
Biblio.com at http://www.biblio.com supplements their search service with a browse function, so that one can first browse to a category such as Mystery & Suspense and then search only within that category.
Antiqbook at http://www.antiqbook.com/books/index.phtml also offers search services similar to ABE. Antiqbook, located in the Netherlands, bills itself as "Europe's Premier Antiquarian Booksite," although they list books from North American as well as European booksellers.
The much-advertised Alibris at http://www.alibris.com lists many of the same books from the same dealers as ABE or Bibliofind. Although Alibris once took a 20% cut over and above the dealer's selling price, resulting in significantly higher prices for the buyer compared with ABE, that no longer seems to be the case.
21 North Main, which once operated a book search service similar to the above sites, has now been absorbed by ABE.
For an even more comprehensive search, try AddAll at http://www.addall.com/Used/index.html, which searches ABE, Alibris, Antiqbook, and several other services simultaneously.
BookFinder.com, at http://www.bookfinder.com, provides a service similar to AddAll, with the addition of including search results from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and the booksellers' cooperative TomFolio.com.
Barnes & Noble at http://www.bn.com offers similar services. Barnes & Noble uses Advanced Book Exchange (ABE) for its out-of-print searches, but the results do not seem to be as comprehensive as going through ABE directly. Similarly, the late lamented Borders used Harvest Booksearch for its out-of-print searches, but the results did not seem to be as complete as going through Harvest Booksearch directly.2
Otto Penzler's The Mysterious Bookshop at http://www.mysteriousbookshop.com includes an updated version of the shop's Sherlock Holmes catalog. The site now has a shopping cart for online ordering.
Barbara & Christopher Roden's Calabash Press at http://www.ash-tree.bc.ca/calabash.html features descriptions and photos of their extensive Sherlockian publications.
Janus Books, operated by Michael S. Greenbaum, comes up in searches for Holmesian items on ABE, Bibliofind or AddAll more frequently than any other dealer. You can view their extensive book lists and order from them directly at http://janusbooks.com/.
221Books, operated by Phillip Gold, also comes up frequently in online searches. They maintain a stock of several thousand Holmesian items at http://www.abebooks.com/home/221BOOKS/.
A leading U.S. vendor of memorabilia with a Web site that accepts orders online is Classic Specialties at http://www.sherlock-holmes.com.
If you want to buy from the source, the Sherlock Holmes Museum, which claims the address 221B Baker Street in London, offers many items for sale via online ordering at http://www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk/.
Buyers and sellers of rare books or any other uncommon Holmes-related items can find each other through the auction sites, for example eBay at http://www.ebay.com or Yahoo! Auctions at http://auctions.yahoo.com. The ubiquitous Amazon.com offers small vendor sites called zShops to complement its auction and book search services.
Alexis Barquin and Thierry Saint-Joanis of the Sherlock Holmes Society of France maintain the Sherlockian Who's Who site at
http://www.sh-whoswho.com. This site features photos of more than 500 Sherlockians from more than 100 Sherlockian societies worldwide, allowing you to match names with faces or faces with names. Many entries have e-mail addresses, and some have brief bios.
Those who are traveling and might like to connect with other Sherlockians can find the meeting schedules of societies around the country at http://SherlockianCalendar.homestead.com, maintained by Ron Fish and Ben & Sue Vizoskie.
Those planning to attend the annual January BSI Weekend in New York City can find an informative resource site with useful links at http://www.bsiweekend.com, maintained by Scott Monty.
The Baker Street Irregulars (BSI) do not have a Web site , but the The Baker Street Irregulars Trust, formed to consolidate and maintain archives of the Irregulars at the Houghton Library at Harvard University, has a site launched by Glen Miranker and now maintained by Randall Stock at http://www.bsitrust.org.
The Sherlock Holmes Society of London has an informative site at http://www.sherlock-holmes.org.uk, newly redesigned and maintained by Webmaster Charlie Markham with content supplied by Robert Graham. The site has links to MP3 files of many Holmes radio broadcasts and to photos of Society events.
One of the livelier scion society sites in the U.S. is that of The Nashville Scholars of the Three-Pipe Problem at http://www.nashvillescholars.net/. The site contains interviews with many notable Sherlockians, including David Stuart Davies, Chris Redmond, David Hammer, Christopher and Barbara Roden, Brad Keefauver, Don Izban and Paul Smedegaard. It also contains a warm tribute to John Bennett Shaw by Webmaster Jim Hawkins.
Another interesting scion society site is that of the Maiwand Jezails at http://members.cox.net/jprazan/MJezails.html. This site has a valuable list of links to scholarly Sherlockian sites, for example The Victorian Web at http://www.scholars.nus.edu.sg/victorian/, useful for researching the times of Holmes and Watson.
The Singular Society of the Baker Street Dozen, a scion society in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, hosts a comprehensive site maintained by Charles Prepolec at http://www.bakerstreetdozen.com/. The site is especially strong in Sherlockian film, with a complete list, including mini-reviews -- of all Holmes films available on DVD for the North American region.
Chuck Kovacic's Baker Street Builders is a society dedicated to the study and appreciation of reconstructions of Holmes and Watson's sitting room at 221b Baker Street. Chuck's site at http://www.221bbakerstreetla.com features detailed photos of his carefully researched and furnished sitting room in suburban Los Angeles.
Peter E. Blau makes available current and back issues of his Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press at http://sherlocktron.com/scuttle.htm. This monthly newsletter, which revives the tradition of Christopher Morley's column "Trade Winds" in the Saturday Review of Literature, includes notices of recently published or upcoming books, performances, events, auctions sales and general Sherlockian gossip. Be sure to read the introductory page where Peter explains the unusual name of his publication.
The District Messenger, the newsletter of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, edited by Roger Johnson, is a monthly publication similar to Scuttlebutt, but with a British flavor. Issues from #160 (May 1996) to the current number are available at http://www.sherlock-holmes.org.uk/. (Click on The District Messenger in the Resources box.)
The current issue of Plugs and Dottles, the newsletter of The Nashville Scholars of the Three Pipe Problem, edited by Gael Stahl, is posted to the society's Web site (see above).
Copies of issues Explorations, the newsletter of my local scion, The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota, from my period as editor from 2002 through 2006 are posted here in Adobe Acrobat format:
Explorations, Winter 2002
Explorations, Spring/Summer 2002
Explorations, Autumn 2002
Explorations, Winter/Spring 2003
Explorations, Summer/Autumn 2003
Explorations, Winter/Spring 2004
Explorations, Summer/Autumn 2004
Explorations, Spring/Summer 2005
Explorations, Autumn 2005
Explorations, Winter 2005
Explorations, Spring 2006
Explorations, Autumn 2006
Explorations, Winter 2006
Copies of more recent issues of Explorations can be seen on the Norwegian Explorers site.
I also contribute to the Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections Newsletter at the University of Minnesota. Archived copies of the Friends' newsletter, largely in Acrobat format, are posted at the Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections Web site.
You can subscribe to the Hounds of the Internet, an e-mail mailing list, by sending a message to email@example.com. Leave the subject line blank and type "subscribe hounds-l <Your Name>" in the body. Many of the leading lights among Sherlockians post to the list, and the level of conversation is usually good-spirited, erudite and witty. Les Moskowitz resumed the role of listmaster briefly in 2004 after the untimely death of Steve Clarkson; the current list owner is Alex Braun.
The Nashville Scholars of the Three Pipe Problem maintain the WelcomeHolmes online discussion group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WelcomeHolmes/.
For Conan Doyle enthusiasts, the former ACD list, moderated by Christopher Roden, is now known as the ConanDoyle discussion group on Yahoo and can be found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ConanDoyle/ This group, membership in which is approved by the moderator, generally has lower bandwidth than the purely Sherlockian groups or lists, and the postings tend to be more scholarly.
A Study in Sherlock is technically a blog, but that term doesn't do it justice. This entertaining resource, maintained by Douglas Johnston at http://www.astudyinsherlock.net, supplements blog postings with well organized, informative and witty articles about all matters Sherlockian. The appealing design and graphics are a plus.
Feel free to send corrections or additions to John Bergquist, BSI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Bergquist, BSI, 2s
"The King of Scandinavia"
Minor Revisions as of July 2014
|Sherlockian Resources on the Internet: A Survey|
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