Monday, August 23, 2021

Tuesday Treasures

 Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.

Toronto ON

Not named as a lane but rather Sherlock Holmes Way. It is beside the Toronto Reference Library which houses one of the world’s largest research collections devoted to Arthur Conan Doyle’s life and works.

Many of our 25,000+ items relate to Doyle’s most famous character, Sherlock Holmes. It also has a range of Doyle’s fiction (adventure, sci-fi, horror) and non-fiction (spiritualism, true crime, history, issues of the day). Includes:
  • manuscripts and correspondences
  • various editions and translations
  • parodies and pastiches
  • biographies, criticisms and bibliographies
  • periodicals by Sherlock Holmes groups
  • stage and screen adaptations
  • photographs
  • collectables (posters, original art, memorabilia and newspaper clippings)


Hugh Anson-Cartwright, a well-known Toronto book dealer, sells a large collection of books to the library. The sale included Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes materials from the estate of Arthur Vincent Baillie.

Cameron Hollyer, a librarian at the Toronto Reference Library (then at College and St. George) becomes the first curator of the new collection. He had facilitated the initial purchase, describing it as “five hundred volumes of vintage detective stories, horror stories, thrillers of all kinds… for $1,000.”

A second acquisition, known as the Harold Mortlake Catalogue Purchase, adds 877 items. These included rare editions of the Sherlock Holmes and Doyle’s other works. It also included extensive translations and criticisms.


Library purchases Judge Bigelow's Collection. It consisted of books and pamphlets as well as complete sets of the Baker Street Journal, the Sherlock Holmes Journals and multiple society periodicals.

In another major addition to the collection, the library purchases 200+ editions of The Sign of Four from collector Nathan Bengis.


The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection officially opens to the public. It is located in the Toronto Reference Library (214 College Street).


The collections relocates to the new Metropolitan Toronto Library (now Toronto Reference Library) at 789 Yonge Street.


  1. How wonderful there is both a street/lane and a research library featuring items related to Sherlock Holmes. Perfect for anyone wanting to do research on Doyle, too.

  2. Interesting post. Holmes knew how to construct a mystery.


This blog does not allow anonymous comments.