Building a Library of the Original Sherlock Holmes Canon and Early Adaptations

I’ve had some vacation time on my hands and I wanted to stay productive, so I dedicated some time to refining and expanding my library of materials relating to the original canon of Sherlock Holmes and the early and most treasured adaptations. I’ve always wanted to explore classic detective fiction, and there is undeniably no better place to start than with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

For my physical collection, I began by tracking down an original 1967 first-single-volume-edition of The Annotated Sherlock Holmes, comprising the complete texts of the four novels and fifty-six short stories, accompanied by an introduction, notes, maps, diagrams, photographs, and drawings – an indispensable possession for all mystery fans. The book is monstrously oversized in a single mammoth volume, but fortunately I found a mahogany bookcase the exact size of the edition’s slipcase to display it proudly over my fireplace. I secured a digital ebook archive of the complete texts as well to facilitate casual reading on the go and started my perusal.

Here is the book in its bookcase:

Annotated Sherlock Holmes 1of3

And some of the lovely annotations:

Annotated Sherlock Holmes 2of3

Annotated Sherlock Holmes 3of3

Also in the spirit of the canon, I tracked down a high-resolution copy of my favorite illustration from the original adventures published in The Strand Magazine between 1891 and 1892 by Sidney Paget and had it printed and framed for my home.

Sherlock Holmes Framed Illustration

Next it seemed appropriate to secure an exhaustive audio library of all major radio adaptations of the original tales and related materials. My 223-disc Sir Arthur Conan Doyle audio collection includes the following:

– CBS Radio Mystery Theater – The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (83 CD Set)
– The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes BBC Radio Dramas (79 CD Set)
– The Complete Sherlock Holmes Audiobooks 9 Volumes Unabridged (60 CD Set)
– The Immortal Sherlock Holmes – Orson Welles, Mercury Theater 1938-09-25

And for my video library, I’ve acquired the Blu-ray Complete Collection of Basil Rathbone’s portrayals of Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. John H. Watson – fourteen films produced between 1939-1946, which comprises:

– The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)
– The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes (1939)
– The Voice Of Terror (1942)
– The Secret Weapon (1942)
– Sherlock Holmes In Washington (1943)
– Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943)
– The Spider Woman (1944)
– The Scarlet Claw (1944)
– The Pearl Of Death (1944)
– The House Of Fear (1945)
– The Woman In Green (1945)
– Pursuit To Algiers (1945)
– Terror By Night (1946)
– The Secret Code-Dressed To Kill (1946)

Sherlock Holmes Basil Rathbone Blu-Ray DVD

These sleuthing adventures will be a joy to explore during the remainder of my vacation.

I’ve done my best to survey Wikipedia’s pages of the original canon as well as the wonderful Baker Street Wiki at to ensure that nothing was overlooked. Still, if I’ve omitted any other classic materials which one might regard as essential to the original Sherlock Holmes universe, I would welcome suggestions for additional content. But the library outlined above should give me plenty to explore through the chilly winter ahead.

“The game is afoot.”


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