Thursday, February 10, 2011

The late Allen Mackler, BSI, broadcasts on "Sherlock Holmes and Music"

At last August’s Sherlock Holmes Collections weekend at the University of Minnesota, significant attention was paid to the late Allen Mackler (“Sarasate”), including tributes by Dr. Paul Martin (“Dr. Leslie Armstrong”) and me at the installation at the Wilson Library of the marvelous 221B sitting-room Allen had created in his Minnesota home and left to the Collections. 

It's largely thanks to another fabulous bequest by Allen that the new permanent E. W. McDiarmid Curatorship for the Sherlock Holmes Collections has been created. Before moving to Minnesota Allen lived in Washington D.C. and worked at its NPR affiliate WETA-FM, with his own weekly “Collectors Forum” program featuring music from his immense personal collection of vintage 78rpm classical records. On one occasion he presented “Sherlock Holmes and Music,” and E. W. McDiarmid Curator Timothy Johnson has just added a recording of that program to the University Libraries’ media section, at

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Coming up next week, Tuesday February 15th:

From Dr. Wesley Britton of
Next Tues., Jon Lellenberg, literary agent of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle estate, will discuss Doyle and his most famous creation on Dave White Presents. Jon will  also talk about a remarkable group known as the Baker Street Irregulars and his new novel—BAKER STREET IRREGULAR—a blend of fact and fiction, mystery and espionage. And a touch of Mr. Holmes as well . . .
The new edition of DWP debuts Tues. Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, then 7:30 Pacific over

On Wed. Feb. 16, the program will become available for download anytime you like at 

I’m interviewed for thirty minutes about the BSI and my novel, followed by other features on what is a 90-minute biweekly program in all.  Even if you can’t catch it that night, it can be accessed at the second website above any time from the following day on.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Something new in BSI Archival History

about Christ Cella’s Speakeasy.
Something unknown to Waal, also to Baker Street Irregulars:  the tough cop who protected Christ Cella’s speakeasy during Prohibition when Christopher Morley and his kinsprits were cooking up the BSI there, and what he thought about Sherlock Holmes -- a minority report from around that fabled table in Christ Cella’s kitchen, and published long ago by one of the original Baker Street Irregulars, but entirely forgotten until now!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Julian Wolff, and the BSI of an earlier era

Just added at, my Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections Newsletter article of last month about “Julian Wolff and Still Waters,” with the kind permission of McDiarmid Curator Timothy Johnson and newsletter editor Julie McKuras.  In addition to what it has to say about Julian Wolff personally, I think more recent arrivals to the ranks of the BSI may be surprised to learn how succession occurred in an earlier era, even if Julian bears responsibility for how this has changed, and not to the BSI’s betterment.  The Sherlock Holmes Collections Newsletter is invaluable reading for all interested in the world of Sherlock Holmes, and if you don’t receive it already, contact the editor at

Coming soon at the website, something entirely new:  What happened to Sherlock Holmes when John Law came knocking at the door of Christ Cella's speakeasy in 1929!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mea Culpa

I am not as conscientious about this blog as I should be, for which I apologize.  But since the holidays ended I have resumed the new Links of the Week at my BSI Archival History website, and added a bunch of stuff elsewhere there, including highlights of my own from the BSI weekend in New York, that are best accessed through the website's Editor's Gas-Bag at  

Woody Hazelbaker's World will take a while longer to resume.  Working against a deadline, Dan Stashower and I are annotating the text of A. Conan Doyle's first, never published, attempt at a novel, and writing a critical introduction for it.  The book will be published by the British Library in the autumn.  The Narrative of John Smith (which in his 1924 autobiography Memories and Adventures Conan Doyle described not entirely honestly as having been lost forever in the post in 1883) is not the sort of work one usually thinks of as a Conan Doyle novel.  But it is proving to be a source of considerable discoveries about his reading, thinking, and future literary trajectory at the time when he was a struggling young physician in Southsea, struggling even hard to become a published writer.  Reading the ms., it can be difficult to believe that in just a year -- he was rewriting it from memory in 1884 -- he would create Sherlock Holmes and write A Study in Scarlet.  But many elements of that first Sherlock Holmes tale asee light first in this earlier manuscript of his, not to mention of his subsequent Holmes tales and other literary work of his.