The Baker Street Irregulars (BSI) is an international literary society formed to promote the study and enjoyment of the stories of Sherlock Holmes. Although formal membership is limited, The Baker Street Irregulars publishes the widely-read Baker Street Journal, the society’s publication of Sherlockian scholarship. The BSI has sponsored Sherlockian events open to the public throughout the United States and created a book division which has 40 separate titles to date, primarily of Sherlockian scholarship, sold worldwide. Further, the BSI has established a public archive at the Houghton Library at Harvard University, collecting correspondence and other Irregular publications, and memorabilia, relating to the history of the BSI. This was all achieved by scores of dedicated and talented volunteers who, thankfully, do not take themselves too seriously.
The current widespread interest in Sherlock Holmes has been reflected in the various activities of the BSI. Both the Baker Street Journal and BSI-published books had their best years in 2012, and the public support for the Harvard University archive has been gratifying and exceeded expectations. 2012 also marked the first BSI-sponsored conference on the West Coast, with over 100 international conferees, many of whom had never attended a BSI-sponsored event.
We deplore and condemn the idea that proper appreciation of the stories of Sherlock Holmes should be limited to a small, elite fandom. Sherlock Holmes belongs to the world, and we applaud all who share the devotion of The Baker Street Irregulars to the memory of the Master Detective, regardless of age, sex or the medium in which they express their views.
Michael F. Whelan
Head of the Baker Street Irregulars
February 20, 2013