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Russell Mann Sherlock Holmes Research Collection: Home

A collection guide to LSU Special Collections' materials related to Sherlock Holmes


British author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, published his first story about Sherlock Holmes in 1887 titled A Study in Scarlet. Since then, the Sherlock Holmes chronicle has grown tremendously in popularity, making Holmes one of the most well known fictional detectives. In total, Doyle wrote 60 Sherlock Holmes stories that were eventually adapted into various mediums including games, plays, television shows, and films. Today, authors, screenwriters, and film makers often take creative license in producing new stories. 

Dr. Russell Mann, a journalism professor at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, began collecting Holmes themed materials in the 1990s. After more than 20 years of collecting, Mann donated his diverse collection to LSU in 2016. The Russell Mann Sherlock Holmes Research Collection contains a wide array of materials, including comic books, academic journals and anthologies, three-dimensional collectibles, and the papers of John Bennett Shaw, a Holmes scholar. Some of the collection items date back as early as 1966, while others are as new as 2014. These materials can be found here.   


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur.” Britannica,

Original Novels by Arthur Conan Doyle

Doyle Biography

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in 1859 into an affluent family from Edinburgh, Scotland. Originally, Doyle aimed to become a doctor, and as a student studied medicine - eventually earning a Master of Surgery qualifications. In his time as a medical student Doyle studied under Dr. Joseph Bell, a man whose great attention to detail and problem solving is thought to have inspired the character Sherlock Holmes. Although Doyle worked primarily as an author, his medical experience and knowledge can be found throughout many of Holmes's adventures. In addition to his Holmes stories, Doyle also wrote numerous historical fiction novels (The White Company, Sir Nigel) and nonfiction monographs (The Great Boer War). Later in his life, Doyle focused less on Holmes and military campaigns, and more on the Occult and spiritualism (The New Revelation, The History of Spritualism.). 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died in 1930 at the age of 71 with a litany of accomplishments. He was knighted in 1902 for his medical help in the South African War and gained immense fame for his Sherlock Holmes stories. As of 2014 Sherlock Holmes is officially in the public domain; those wishing to use his character no longer have to pay the Doyle estate a copyright fee.      

Wilson, Philip K. “Arthur Conan Doyle.” , Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 21 Sept. 2018,

Schultz, Colin. “‘Sherlock Holmes’ Is Now Officially Off Copyright and Open for Business.”, Smithsonian Institution, 19 June 2014,

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