On exhibit: Who’s Your Holmes? at LSU’s Hill Memorial Library

Image from 'The Hound of the Baskervilles,' printed by The Folio Society of London (1987) and featuring linocuts by Edward Bawden. Courtesy LSU Libraries Special Collections.

From Miss Marple to Nancy Drew, readers have long been fascinated by fictional detectives. We hang on their every clever word and sit in awe of their uncanny ability to crack a case with the sheer power of wit. So when East Baton Rouge Parish Library leaders chose Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles as their 2019 “One Book, One Community” volume, local fans of the world’s most famous imaginary investigator applauded. The game was afoot.

In connection with the EBRPL program, LSU Libraries Special Collections will present an exhibition titled “Who’s Your Holmes? Depictions and Adaptations of Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles” in the lecture hall of LSU’s Hill Memorial Library from February 25 through May 31.

Photo courtesy LSU Hill Memorial Library

“The stories encourage critical thinking,” says Amanda Hawk, who curated the exhibition. “It’s almost a game to try to work out the case before Holmes unravels it through the narrative.”

The LSU exhibition will feature some 40 items all focused on Holmes, including several editions of The Hound of the Baskervilles, comic-book adaptations of the story, and ephemera such as trading cards and stamps. One grouping will include figurines and dolls of other popular characters like Snoopy and a Troll dressed as Holmes, along with children’s books, games and puzzles based on Doyle’s characters. The items are drawn from the LSU Libraries’ Russell A. Mann Sherlock Holmes Research Collection, a treasury of Holmes-related materials acquired in 2016 from Mann, a retired journalism professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

“The display is family friendly and visually appealing, and it provides a colorful look at the enduring legacy of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes,” Hawk says. “And while we hope visitors are participating in the ‘One Book, One Community’ campaign, you don’t need to have read The Hound of the Baskervilles to enjoy the exhibit.”

The LSU Libraries team has also created a guide to the Russell A. Mann Sherlock Holmes Research Collection that will be available online at lib.lsu.edu/special to give the public a closer look at the materials in the collection. No magnifying glass necessary.

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