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The Baker Street Irregulars is an organization of Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts founded in 1934 by Christopher Morley.[1] The nonprofit organization currently numbers some 300 individuals worldwide.[2] The group has published The Baker Street Journal — an "irregular quarterly of Sherlockiana" — since 1946.[1]



Baker Street Irregulars Fletcher Pratt, Christopher Morley and Rex Stout (1944)

The BSI was an outgrowth of Christopher Morley's informal group, "3 Hours for Lunch" which discussed art and literature.[3] The first inaugural meeting of the BSI was held in 1934 at Christ Cella's restaurant in New York City.[4] Initial attendees included William Gillette, Vincent Starrett, Alexander Woollcott, and Gene Tunney.[3] Morley kept meetings quite irregular but after ceding leadership to Edgar W. Smith, meetings became more regular.[3][5]

In February 1934, Elmer Davis, a friend of Morley, authored a constitution for the group explaining their purpose and explaining that anyone who passed a certain test was eligible to join.[6] The May 1934 issue of Saturday Review of Literature featured the aforementioned "test" which was a crossword puzzle authored by Christopher Morley's younger brother, Frank.[6]

The organization long resisted admitting women, a policy which spawned a female-centered organization, the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes.[5] In 1991,[3] the first female invested in the BSI was Dame Jean Conan Doyle.[7] This was followed by Katherine McMahon, the first woman to solve the crossword puzzle.[7] McMahon was followed by Edith Meiser,[7] author of numerous Holmesian radio scripts for The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Members of the society participate in "the game"[8] which postulates that Holmes and Doctor Watson were real and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was merely Watson's "literary agent".[9]


The Baker Street JournalEdit

The original iteration of the BSJ was started in 1946 as an academic journal but it ceased in 1949.[3] In 1951, Edgar Smith began publishing it again as a quarterly; it has continued publication since that time.[3]

Scion societiesEdit

The BSI has spawned numerous "scion societies",[4] many of which are officially recognized by the BSI. The first was The Five Orange Pips of Westchester County, New York in 1935.[3] Independent Sherlockian groups include the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes, the U.K.’s Sherlock Holmes Society of London, and Canada's The Bootmakers of Toronto.


  1. ^ a b "Baker Street Irregulars 1923-2007: Guide". Houghton Library, Harvard Library. Harvard University. Retrieved 2015-03-25.
  2. ^ "The Baker Street Irregulars Trust". ZoomInfo. March 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur; Klinger, Leslie S. (2005). The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 1. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. lxiii–lxvi. ISBN 0-7394-5304-1.
  4. ^ a b Bunson, Matthew (1997). Encyclopedia Sherlockiana: an A-to-Z guide to the world of the great detective. Macmillan. pp. 20–21. ISBN 0-02-861679-0.
  5. ^ a b c Faye, Lyndsay (March 22, 2012). "Inside the Baker Street Irregulars". Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Boström, Mattias (2018). From Holmes to Sherlock. Mysterious Press. pp. 206–207. ISBN 978-0-8021-2789-1.
  7. ^ a b c Boström, Mattias (2018). From Holmes to Sherlock. Mysterious Press. pp. 428–429. ISBN 978-0-8021-2789-1.
  8. ^ a b Dirda, Michael (February 2, 2012). "Sherlock Lives!". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Grann, David (December 13, 2004). "Mysterious Circumstances". The New York Times. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e Kaska, Kathleen (March 29, 2014). "A Society like None Other: The Baker Street Irregulars Celebrates 80 Years". Kings River Life. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  11. ^ "THE INVESTITURED (OR INVESTED) IRREGULARS" (PDF). Sherlocktron. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "List of Invested BSI, Two-Shilling Award Recipients, and The Woman" (PDF). BSI History Resources. The Baker Street Irregulars Trust. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Blumenberg, Taylor (January 10, 2016). "Episode 71: Bert Coules". Baker Street Babes. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  15. ^ a b Zeffren, Tamar (September 26, 2015). "The 1971 BSI Dinner". The BSI Trust. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  16. ^ Claire, Nancy (September 15, 2013). "Sherlockian Girl Goes Wilde: An Interview with Lyndsay Faye". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  17. ^ Zeffren, Tamar (October 31, 2016). "The 2005 BSI Dinner". The BSI Trust. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  18. ^ Zeffren, Tamar (March 12, 2016). "The 1985 BSI Dinner". The BSI Trust. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  19. ^ Boström, Mattias (2018). From Holmes to Sherlock. Mysterious Press. p. 429. ISBN 978-0-8021-2789-1.
  20. ^ "In Memoriam: Dr. David Musto". Yale Daily News. October 13, 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  21. ^ Monty, Scott (January 8, 2017). "The 2017 BSI Weekend Ended in Friendship".
  22. ^ a b Mehegan, David (November 28, 2005). "Guilt by association: For 65 years, a Boston club has made Sherlock Holmes mysteries a scholarly pastime". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  23. ^ Zeffren, Tamar (March 12, 2016). "The 1986 BSI Dinner". The BSI Trust. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  24. ^ Shashower, Daniel (July 10, 2015). "Why Sherlock Holmes Endures". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  25. ^ "Frederic D. Steele, An Illustrator, 70". The New York Times. July 7, 1944. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  26. ^ Zeffren, Tamar (May 19, 2016). "The 1993 BSI Dinner". The BSI Trust. Retrieved January 3, 2018.

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