New library exhibit celebrates 125 years of Sherlock Holmes

January 2, 2013 | Media Relations

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From one of the world’s largest Arthur Conan Doyle collections, rare books, manuscripts, artwork and artifacts exhibition opens at the Reference Library.

TORONTO (Wednesday, January 2, 2013) – Toronto Public Library is pleased to announce its third exhibition in the newly expanded TD Gallery, located on the main floor of the Toronto Reference Library. Adventures with Sherlock Holmes opens on Saturday, January 5, 2013, at 9 am and runs until March 10.   

Adventures with Sherlock Holmes features an exhibition of Toronto Public Library special collections material showcasing rare and unusual books, manuscripts, artwork and artifacts from the exceptional holdings of the Toronto Public Library's Arthur Conan Doyle Collection.

Opened to the public in 1971, the library’s Arthur Conan Doyle Collection has grown to be one of the largest of its kind in the world. Focussing not only on the Sherlock Holmes phenomenon, but also on the breadth of Conan Doyle’s life and work, the Collection attracts scholars, tourists and fans alike.

What:    Adventures with Sherlock Holmes features an exhibition of special collections     
             material showcasing rare and unusual books, manuscripts, artwork and artifacts

When:    Saturday, January 5, to Sunday, March 10, 2013

Where:   TD Gallery, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street

Hours:     Monday to Thursday, 9:30 am to 8:30 pm, Friday, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, Saturday, 9:00 am 
               to 5:00 pm, Sunday, 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm.

Exhibit Highlights:

  •  Rare books and first editions including the first introduction of Sherlock Holmes to the reading public.
  • Vintage magazines and manuscript materials showing the long relationship between Holmes’ author and the Strand Magazine.
  • Manuscript letters and writings by Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, including both materials related to Holmes and personal items that show the man behind the famous character.
  • A portrait gallery of images of Holmes and his associates as they have been interpreted by a wide variety of artists as well as a “rogue’s gallery” of items depicting Holmes’ famous foes Moriarty and the Hound of the Baskervilles.
  • Illustrations by Sidney Paget, Frederick Dorr Steele and others responsible for shaping Holmes’ visual identity.
  • A set of one-of-a-kind stained glass windows depicting scenes from 221B Baker Street.
  • Posters and stills depicting the Holmes character’s appearances in film and theatre.
  • Parodies and pastiches of the Holmes stories from the 19th century to today, including many intriguing examples of how early imitators and modern authors have made use of Conan Doyle’s detective.

Related Programming:

Film: Murder by Decree
Saturday, February 2, 2013
2 pm
Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Auditorium
Sherlock Holmes meets Jack the Ripper in this 1979 film starring Christopher Plummer as Holmes. A tour of the exhibition follows the screening.

Arthur Conan Doyle: Author, Patriot and Historian
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
1 pm
Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Auditorium
Doug Wrigglesworth, Chair Emeritus of the Friends of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, discusses the life, times and far-reaching influence of Sherlock Holmes' creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A tour of the exhibition follows the lecture.

Documentary Film: The Real Sherlock Holmes by Storyline Entertainment
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
2 pm
Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Auditorium

Curator's Gallery Tours
Tuesdays, January 8, February 19 and March 5, 2013
1 pm
Toronto Reference Library, TD Gallery

Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library systems. Every year, more than 19 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow over 33 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. To get all the scoops about the library first-hand, follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.


Media Contact:
Edward Karek, Communications Officer
[email protected]