Sherlock Holmes & Conan Doyle Explored At Portsmouth Museum

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 25 June 2007
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photo of bound vintage copies of the Strand Magazine

Copies of the Strand Magazine, where the Sherlock Holmes stories first appeared. Photo Portsmouth City Council

Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle fans will be thrilled to hear that the much-anticipated permanent Study in Sherlock exhibition has opened at the City Museum and Records Office in Portsmouth.

Held in a newly refurbished and specially designed gallery, Study in Sherlock offers visitors the opportunity to delve into the internationally renowned collection on Sir Arthur Doyle and his notorious fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes.

The extensive collection not only explores the lively minds of Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes, but also that of the late Richard Lancelyn Green who amassed the collection over a period of 40 years.

A leading Arthur Conan Doyle scholar and Sherlock Holmes specialist, Lancelyn Green's collection consists of no less than 40,000 items, archives and artefacts including original photographs, production posters and letters from the great and the good of Victorian and Edwardian society. It was bequeathed to Portsmouth on his death in 2004.

Incorporating a series of elements, the exhibition includes: Arthur Conan Doyle's biography in the context of Victorian and Edwardian England, Conan Doyle’s strong relationship with Portsmouth (he wrote the first two Sherlock Holmes books while residing in the seaside city), the emergence and development of Sherlock Holmes and the Sherlock Holmes ‘industry’.

photo of a desk with an assortment of objects on it including a soda siphon, tobacco pipe, small bust of Napoleon and books

The exhibition contains an array of Holmes and Conan Doyle ephemera. Photo Portsmouth City Council

Narrated by Stephen Fry, the collection’s patron, the exhibition showcases a range of interactive displays and a 'new' Sherlock Holmes mystery, giving visitors the chance to try their hand at being a clever sleuth as well as fully immerse themselves within the extraordinary world of Sherlock Holmes.

It also includes interactive readings of selected works by Conan Doyle, virtual display panels and a new Sherlock Holmes mystery, The Case of the Portsmouth Doctor, written and performed specially for the exhibition.

Stephen Baily, Head of Cultural Services for Portsmouth City Council said: "Our staff have worked fantastically hard to ensure that the Study in Sherlock exhibition does justice to the treasures of Richard Lancelyn Green's collection. There is so much for visitors of all ages to see in the exhibition and we hope that people will come back again and again.”

Considering how well loved the iconic character of Sherlock Holmes is by the British public, this exhibition is set to be a huge success.

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