The Best of Sherlock Holmes
An Annotated Checklist and Census
By Randall Stock, November 24, 2012
Sherlock Holmes first appeared in the 1887 issue of Beeton's Christmas Annual. It is now a rare collectible and considered the most expensive magazine in the world, with a Beeton's 1887 selling for $156,000 at Sotheby's in 2007. This checklist provides a description of the 1887 issue, some historical sale prices, a list of extant copies and their owners, and information on facsimiles. It serves as an annotated guide to additional sources of information on the magazine in general and on specific known copies.
If you know of other copies or have additional information about the ones listed here, please contact me.
Beeton's Christmas Annual was a paperback magazine published from 1860 (volume 1) through 1898 (volume 39). Each issue also carried a distinctive title reflecting that season's contents. The 1887 edition, entitled "A Study in Scarlet," was approximately 8.5" x 5.5" and had color pictorial wrappers (cover). It was issued in November at a price of one shilling and sold out before Christmas. Besides the adjacent image of an original copy at Occidental College, there are photographs of many other copies online. The magazine included three works:
"A Study in Scarlet" by A. Conan Doyle, pp. 1 – 95.
"Food for Powder" by R. André, pp. 96 – 114.
"The Four-Leaved Shamrock" by C. J. Hamilton, pp. 115 – 138.
[i-ii] cover; [1-12] ads;  Title;  ad;  CONTENTS; [16-32] ads;  blank;  frontispiece; -138 text; 139-168 ads; [iii-iv] back cover.
Photo Courtesy Occidental College
1) The inside front cover and back cover contained advertisements. The outer covers were in color.
2) Arabic numerals are used above for simplicity in describing the preliminaries (front matter) but these pages did not show page numbers.
3) The back matter advertisements did show page numbers.
4) This pagination matches the Edgar W. Smith copy (R15) and its associated Baker Street Irregulars facsimile edition. William S. Hall reported copy R20 with eight fewer pages of front-matter advertising before the title page.
Beeton's Christmas Annual was issued as a paperback-style magazine although of course it did not use the modern paperback binding process. Some collectors had their copy bound. These bound copies typically contain the literary text portion of the magazine, but frequently do not include the original pictorial cover (wrappers), preliminaries or back matter advertising sections. Pages were usually trimmed along the edges as part of the binding process.
On page 90, line 23 (second paragraph, fourth line): Some copies are lacking the "I" of "I fancy that he suspected..."
In his 2011 BSJ article, Constantine Rossakis says copies lacking the "I" are the true first edition, first issue of this magazine.
D. H. Friston (engravings by W.M.R. Quick) for "A Study in Scarlet."
R. André for "Food for Powder."
Matt Stretch for "The Four-Leaved Shamrock."
BEETON'S CHRISTMAS ANNUAL. | TWENTY-EIGHTH SEASON. | [short rule] | A | STUDY IN SCARLET | By A. CONAN DOYLE. | CONTAINING ALSO | Two Original Plays for Home Performance. | I. | "FOOD FOR POWDER." | By R. ANDRÉ. | II. | "THE FOUR-LEAVED SHAMROCK." | By C. J. HAMILTON. || With Numerous Original Engravings | BY | D. H. FRISTON, R. ANDRÉ, AND MATT STRETCH || WARD, LOCK AND CO. | LONDON: WARWICK HOUSE, SALISBURY SQUARE, E.C. | NEW YORK: BOND STREET. | [All rights reserved.]
The Antique Trader Vintage Magazines Price Guide describes Beeton's 1887 as "the most expensive magazine in the world." As with any rare collectible, prices vary based on factors such as condition, inscriptions, and association value. There have been a number of sales over the past thirty years.
2008: $36,500 at Bonhams Oxford for a bound copy without wrappers and most advertisements
2007: $156,000 at Sotheby's New York for a complete copy with spine in facsimile and some restorations and repairs
2004: $153,600 at Sotheby's New York for a complete copy that is creased and worn, with a small hole in the front wrapper
2001: $17,625 at Christie's New York for a bound copy without wrappers or advertisements
1995: $33,120 at Sotheby's London for a copy with the spine and rear cover in facsimile
1995: $14,375 at Christie's New York for a copy without wrappers or advertisements and bound in contemporary cloth
1991: $23,100 at Sotheby's New York for a copy with facsimiles of two pages of advertisements and the rear cover
1990: $125,000 advertised by Peter L. Stern for a complete copy in excellent condition
1990: $57,200 at Sotheby's New York for a copy that is chipped and somewhat loose, signed by Vincent Starrett and "Barnaby Ross" / "Ellery Queen" on the title-page
1987: $15,000 from a Pasadena collector
1983: $18,000 at the 23rd Antiquarian Book Fair in New York
Note: Auction prices include the buyer's premium. Currency converted to US dollars.
This checklist identifies 33 copies of the 1887 Beeton's Christmas Annual. Libraries hold 21 of them. The University of Minnesota holds four copies. Yale has three copies and may have previously held another two. All other recorded owners have only a single copy.
Eleven copies are complete, including original wrappers and advertisements, although one of these has been bound and another has the spine in facsimile. Twenty-two are known to lack original wrappers and/or advertisements. Some of those have facsimile replacements for the missing originals. Of the copies believed to be privately held, R21 and R28 are complete, and R22 is complete with spine in facsimile and some restoration to wrappers.
Fourteen copies lack the "I" of "I fancy" on page 90 while the "I" is present in seventeen copies. This variant information is not available for two copies.
Photos of fourteen copies are available online: R2 (Harvard), R3 (Indiana), R4 (Minnesota), R7 (Minnesota), R9 (Occidental), R11 (Princeton), R14 (Texas), R15 (Toronto), R16 (Yale), R17 (Yale), R18 (Yale), R20 (private), R23 (Portsmouth), and R32 (private).
R1. Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia)
This copy is part of the Glover-Greene Victorian Detective Fiction Collection. It can be found in their discoverE online catalog using "Study in Scarlet" as the title.
Special Collections site: http://marbl.library.emory.edu/
Library Catalog Record: Manuscript Archive Rare Book PR4622 .S76 1887
Notes: Elegantly bound in full red morocco and with a red slipcase. Spine with six panels, with gilt ornaments in odd-numbered panels and other panels lettered in gilt as "A | STUDY | IN | SCARLET", "CONAN | DOYLE", and bottom panel with ornament above "BEETON'S | CHRISTMAS | ANNUAL | 1887." Woodruff Library bookplate on front paste-down crediting Ruth Candler Lovett Endowment Fund. Copy lacks original wrappers, table of contents and most advertisements. Previously owned by Graham Greene and Dorothy Glover (Craigie). Without "I"
References: Phillip Bergem 8/19/08 e-mail; Catalog; Rossakis CR22; Bergem #12. (Last updated 3/18/12)
R2. Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
Once part of the Harold Wilmerding Bell collection, this copy is owned by The Speckled Band of Boston and has been placed on deposit at Harvard's Houghton Library. It can be found in their HOLLIS Catalog using "Beeton's Christmas" as the title. The catalog record provides a detailed description of this copy.
Houghton Library (rare books and manuscripts): http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/houghton/
Library Catalog Record: Houghton *EC9 D7722 887s
Exhibited: "Ever Westward": Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in American Culture (May 5–August 8, 2009)
Notes: Complete, original wrappers and ads. Front cover missing triangular-shaped area of cover design in lower right corner and small portion of upper right corner. Spine lacking top layer of paper and thus appears blank. Without "I"
References: Personal notes 5/6/09; John Bergquist 5/5/07 report & 10/26/07 email; Personal correspondence with a Speckled Band member; Pull; Catalog; Rossakis CR9; Bergem #15. (Last updated 3/18/12)
R3. Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana)
This copy is held in the Lilly Library for rare books and was from the personal collection of J.K. Lilly, Jr. It can be found in the University IUCAT online catalog using "Study in Scarlet" as the title. The Lilly Library has an outstanding online exhibition of Holmes material as noted below.
Lilly Library site: http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly
Library Catalog Record: B-LILLY PR4622 .S9 1887
Bloomington by Gaslight: Sherlock Holmes in the Lilly Library: http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/holmes/
Beeton's and the origin of Holmes: http://www.indiana.edu/~liblilly/holmes/origin.shtml
Notes: Complete copy with original wrappers and ads. The catalog record indicates only 95 pages, but this refers only to the Holmes story in the issue. Per Rossakis, includes "I"
References: Catalog; Rossakis CR4; Bergem #14; Blau. (Last updated 3/18/12)
R4. University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
The Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota contain the world's largest collection of Sherlockiana. They are part of the Special Collections and Rare Books Department. This copy can be found in the Classic MNCAT online catalog using a Keyword Search for "Beeton" in Title Keywords and then looking for an entry with the year "1887." Click the "Full View" link to see the record summary, then within that summary click the "Availability" link with call number to see specific item details. Note that the catalog also lists some other issues of Beeton's and three facsimile editions of the 1887 issue. The new MNCAT has less information than the Classic version. Copy viewed Sep. 2005 and Oct. 2000. Minnesota also holds copies R5, R6, and R7.
Library website: http://www.lib.umn.edu/
Special Collections site: http://special.lib.umn.edu/rare/index.html
Library Catalog Record: PR4622 .S76 1887 [copy 1]
Notes: Bound in full red Morocco with gilt lettering and edges. Includes original front cover but lacks the back cover and most ads. Vincent Starrett's second copy, with his signature and bookplate. The Clendening-Starrett copy. Gift of Philip Hench. Includes "I"
References: Personal notes Sep. 2005 & Oct. 2000; Catalog; Rossakis CR20; Bergem #2; Blau. (Last updated 3/18/12)
R5. University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
See Minnesota copy R4 for collection and library details. Copy viewed Sep. 2005 and Oct. 2000. Minnesota also holds copies R4, R6, and R7.
Library Catalog Record: PR4622 .S76 1887; copy 2
Notes: Partial original front cover, nearly complete copy lacking only first leaf of ads and the back cover. A facsimile front cover is tipped onto the original front cover. The Lord Donegall Christmas card copy. Gift of Philip Hench. Includes "I"
References: Personal notes Sep. 2005 & Oct. 2000; Catalog; Rossakis CR17; Bergem #3; Blau. (Last updated 3/18/12)
R6. University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
See Minnesota copy R4 for collection and library details. Copy viewed Sep. 2005 and Oct. 2000. Minnesota also holds copies R4, R5, and R7.
Library Catalog Record: PR4622 .S76 1887; copy 3
Notes: Bound in burgundy cloth, with original text but most other parts in facsimile. The front cover and the full-page illustration facing the first page of text are facsimiles. Bookplate of 6th Marquis of Donegall. Gift of Philip Hench. Without "I"
References: Personal notes Sep. 2005 & Oct. 2000; Catalog; Rossakis CR18; Bergem #4; Blau. (Last updated 3/18/12)
R7. University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
See Minnesota copy R4 for collection and library details. Copy viewed Sep. 2005 and Oct. 2000. Minnesota also holds copies R4, R5, and R6.
Library Catalog Record: PR4622 .S76 1887; copy 4
U Media Archive photos of the bound covers, binding spine, front pastedown with Kern bookplate, title page, table of contents, the opening illustration, and illustrations on page 20, page 56, and page 72. Other images can be found by searching for Beeton's Christmas AND Kern.
Notes: Bound in red cloth, without wrappers or ads but does have the original title page, contents, and illustration facing the first page of text. Lacks pp. 139-168. Bookplate of Jerome Kern. Gift of Philip Hench. Includes "I"
References: Personal notes Sep. 2005 & Oct. 2000; Catalog; Rossakis CR19; Bergem #5; Blau. (Last updated 11/24/12)
R8. The Newberry Library (Chicago, Illinois)
This is part of the C. Frederick Kittle Collection of Doyleana at The Newberry Library. It is listed in their Voyager ILCSO ILLINET online catalog under the title "Beeton's Christmas Annual." The catalog entry provides an excellent detailed description of their copy. The Kittle / Newberry copy cover is reproduced on page 109 of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes: Essays and Art on the Doctor and the Detective by Donald J. Terras. The March 1997 Caxtonian at <http://www.caxtonclub.org/reading/doyle.html> also provides information on Dr. Kittle and his collection. Stanley MacKenzie used this copy for his 1987 postcard.
Library website: http://www.newberry.org/
Library Catalog Record: VAULT Case PR4622 .S78 1887
1951 Sherlock Holmes Exhibition at Abbey House Baker Street (May – September 1951)
1952 The Sherlock Holmes Exhibition [New York, 1952]
Newberry Library: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Beyond Sherlock Holmes (April 9 – July 12, 2003)
C. Frederick Kittle, purchased from Sotheby's 1995
Sold at Sotheby's London 7/24/95 from the MacKenzie collection, after his Feb. 1995 death
Stanley MacKenzie, purchased from Rowe in April 1958
A.E. Rowe, purchased before 1951 for one shilling from a street-market barrow
Notes: Complete copy except back wrapper in facsimile. Without "I"
References: Nick Utechin 2/6/12 e-mail; Kittle phone call 3/29/09; Newberry staff 9/10/03 & 9/11/03 e-mail; March 1997 Caxtonian; Sotheby's London 7/24/95 catalog; Rossakis CR10; Bergem #13. (Last updated 3/26/12)
R9. Occidental College (Los Angeles, California)
This copy is part of the Ned Guymon Mystery and Detective Fiction Collection in the Special Collections Department. It is listed in the OASys online catalog under the title "A Study in Scarlet."
Special Collections site: http://www.oxy.edu/library/special-collections-college-archives
Guymon Collection info: http://libguides.oxy.edu/content.php?pid=120114&sid=1162150
Library Catalog Record: Special Collections - Guymon Mystery 823.91 D754stu
Notes: Complete copy with original wrappers and ads. Includes "I"
References: Stock 'Citings' R9a; Occidental staff 1/22/03 e-mail; Catalog; Rossakis CR2; Bergem #6. (Last updated 3/18/12)
R10. University of Oxford (Oxford, England)
The Bodleian Library lists this copy in their SOLO Catalogue, and it can be found by searching for titles containing keywords "Beeton's Christmas." Until 2014, consult it at RSL/SCRR with at least 24 hours notice.
Rare Books site: http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/bodley/library/special/rarebooks
Library Catalog Record: Bodleian Library Arch. AA e.155 (1887)
Notes: Complete copy, bound with original wrappers and ads in a single binding containing #26-29 (1885-1888). The 1887 issue carries a Bodleian date-stamp of "29 Feb. 1888." This copy was used to produce Gibson's Centenary Facsimile edition. Includes "I"
References: Bodleian staff 3/20/12 e-mail; Catalog; Rossakis CR23; Bergem #18; Blau. (Last updated 3/21/12)
R11. Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey)
This copy is held in the Department of Rare Books. It can be found in the Princeton University Library Main Catalog using "Beetons" as the title. After finding the entry, choose "Long View" to see details on its acquisition and description.
Library website: http://libweb.princeton.edu/
Library Catalog Record: Rare Books (Ex) PR4622 .S88 1887
Notes: Complete copy with original wrappers and ads. Gift of Howard T. Behrman (1986). Per Rossakis, includes "I"
References: Catalog, Rossakis CR6; Bergem #16. (Last updated 3/19/12)
R12. National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland)
This copy is listed in their online Main Catalogue and may be found by searching for the title "Beeton's Christmas."
Rare Books site: http://www.nls.uk/collections/rarebooks/index
Library Catalog Record: Shelfmark: RB.s.2611
Notes: Bound in blue cloth with the first 16 pages of front-matter, all literary content and back-matter advertisements, but without wrappers or the plate (illustration) facing the first page of text. Prior ownership stamp of the Advocates Library (Scotland). Without "I"
References: Stock 'Citings' R12a; Phil Bergem 8/25/05 e-mail; NLS staff 9/9/03 e-mail; Catalogue; Rossakis CR25 (Last updated 3/19/12)
R13. Stanford University (Stanford, California)
This copy is part of the Kenyon Law Starling collection in the Department of Special Collections. It is listed in both their SearchWorks and Socrates online catalogs as a book under the title "A Study in Scarlet." Copy viewed December 2000.
Special Collections site: http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/spc/index.html
Library Catalog Record: SPEC-COLL 71 05310 CB
Notes: Bound without original wrappers or advertising sections but including title page and table of contents. Per Rossakis, without "I"
References: Stock 'Citings' R13a; Catalog; Rossakis CR21; Bergem #7. (Last updated 3/19/12)
R14. University of Texas (Austin, Texas)
This copy is held in the Harry Ransom Center and is part of The Ellery Queen Collection of Mystery and Detective Fiction. It's listed as a book in the general UT library catalog under keyword "Beeton's Christmas" and limit search to the Harry Ransom Center. This copy is briefly described in An Exhibition on the Occasion of the Opening of the Ellery Queen Collection (Austin, 1959).
Ransom Center site: http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/
Detective Fiction: http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/collections/books/holdings/detective/
Library Catalog Record: HRC Book Collection QUEEN 6296
Notes: Complete copy, original wrappers and ads with some restoration. Front cover worn and creased, with corners missing. Per Rossakis, includes "I"
References: UT blog 5/3/12; Exhibition; Catalog; Rossakis CR8; Bergem #17; Blau. (Last updated 6/2/12)
R15. Toronto Reference Library (Toronto, Canada)
The Toronto Reference Library has an entire collection devoted to Arthur Conan Doyle. This copy is held in that collection and can be found by searching for the keyword "Beeton's Christmas" in their online catalog and then looking for the 1887 publication date.
Library website: http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/
Library Catalog Record: Special Arthur Conan Doyle 823.91 D598 1887
2001 Footprints of the Hound Exhibit: The second page of the "Publications" section of the virtual exhibit contains an entry for their copy of Beeton's, and a thumbnail image s to a large detailed cover photo.
Notes: Complete copy with original wrappers and ads except missing lower left front cover. This copy was used by Edgar W. Smith to produce the 1960 BSI Facsimile edition. Without "I"
References: Catalog; Rossakis CR5; Bergem #19; Blau. (Last updated 3/20/12)
R16. Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut)
Yale holds three Beeton's copies and may have held more in the past. In 2003 their Orbis online catalog listed two copies in the Sterling Memorial Library Stacks. However, those were probably old records for copies that are now in the Beinecke Library under different call numbers, and those Sterling entries don't seem to be in Orbis in 2012. See the possibly "missing" Yale copies RX2 and RX3. To find the confirmed Yale copies in Orbis, search for "Beetons Christmas" in the title. Yale also holds copies R17 and R18.
Beinecke Rare Books site: http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/
Library Catalog Record: Beinecke Tinker 847
The Beinecke Digital Collection has a large photo of this copy in its case.
Notes: Imperfect copy, portions loose/disbound with some front-matter ads out of sequence, but includes title and contents pages. Lacks original wrappers, 10 pages of front-matter ads, frontispiece illustration, text leaf /2, and ads on 167/168. Bookplate of Chauncey Brewster Tinker. Without "I"
Formerly inscribed "With the Author's Compliments" by ACD on the first text page, but not signed. In March 2003 it was reported that this first leaf of text had been removed. As of April 2012 this inscribed leaf was still missing. If you hear of a made-up copy of Beeton's with the first text page inscribed "With the Author's Compliments" or of the leaf by itself, please report it to Kevin Repp, Curator, Modern Books and Manuscripts, firstname.lastname@example.org , (203) 432-2967.
References: Phillip Bergem 2/12/06 report; Dr. Richard Sveum 3/13/05 e-mail; Yale staff 4/19/12, 3/10/05, 12/03 and 11/03 e-mail and 11/13/03 phone call; Constantine Rossakis 4/6/03 phone call; Beinecke Digital Collection; Catalog; Rossakis CR14; Bergem #8. (Last updated 4/19/12)
R17. Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut)
See Yale copy R16 for collection and library details. This copy (R17: Beinecke 1974 89) was reported as having originally been held in Sterling as SML Stacks In D772 887Sc (RX3), with the call number changing when it was transferred to Beinecke, but that has not been confirmed. See the possibly "missing" Yale copies RX2 and RX3. Yale also holds copies R16 and R18.
Library Catalog Record: Beinecke 1974 89
The Beinecke Digital Collection has a large photo of the front wrapper of this copy.
Notes: Heavily conserved incomplete copy that includes the front cover, title and contents pages, and all text. Lacks first 12 pages of front-matter ads, frontispiece illustration, all back-matter ads, spine, and back cover. Many pages frayed and torn. Includes "I"
References: Phillip Bergem 2/12/06 report; Yale staff 11/03 and 12/03 e-mail and 11/13/03 phone call; Constantine Rossakis 4/6/03 phone call; Beinecke Digital Collection; Catalog; Rossakis CR15; Bergem #9. (Last updated 3/21/12)
R18. Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut)
Library Catalog Record: Beinecke 2002 302
The Beinecke Digital Collection has a large photo of the red leather cover of this copy.
Notes: Bound in red leather by Sangorski & Sutcliffe with all text and frontispiece illustration but without other front-matter, wrappers, and most back-matter ads. Paul K Fodder bookplate. Without "I"
References: Phillip Bergem 2/12/06 report; Stock 'Citings' R18a; Dr. Richard Sveum 3/13/05 e-mail; Yale staff 11/03 and 12/03 e-mail and 11/13/03 phone call; Beinecke Digital Collection; Catalog; Rossakis CR16 (Last updated 3/21/12)
Current Owner: Estate of Dame Jean Conan Doyle, November 1997 – present (August 2007)
Dame Jean Conan Doyle, died November 1997
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, died July 1930
Notes: Bound, text of only A Study in Scarlet pp. 1-95 (lacking original front/back covers, advertisements, and other literary matter). A number of contemporary reviews of A Study in Scarlet are pasted onto extra leaves at the rear of the bound copy. Signed by ACD on first page with "Return to Dr A. Conan Doyle." Per Rossakis, includes "I"
References: Jon Lellenberg 8/2/07, 11/21/05, 10/16/03 e-mail; Pollock & Lellenberg; Rossakis CR13; Bergem #1; Blau. (Last updated 3/24/12)
Current Owner: Not Identified
Private Collector in New England, 1998 (or earlier) – 2010, sold privately ca. October 2010
Estate of William R. Smith, sold prior to 1998
William R. Smith, owned as of 1987, died March 1993
William S. Hall, purchased "some years before" 1963, died Sept. 1971
A British bookseller, sold to Hall "some years before" 1963
Photos of the original Beeton's cover and signed inscription
Notes: Bound by Zaehnsdorf in three-quarter morocco gilt, with wrappers and all except 4 leaves of ads. Inscribed and signed by ACD "This is the very first | independent book of | mine which ever was | published | Arthur Conan Doyle. | Jan 9 / 14" on an extra leaf. Includes "I"
References: Beeton's at Sotheby's 2010; Stock 'Citings' R20a; Personal correspondence 11/8/10; Owner's 6/3/06 & 1/22/03 e-mails & 5/16/10 phone call; Hall; Scuttlebutt March 1993; Rossakis CR24; Bergem #21; Blau. (Last updated 3/25/12)
Current Owner: Constantine Rossakis, 22 June 2002 – present (March 2012)
Russell H. McMains, purchased at auction on June 15, 1990; sold 22 June 2002
J. Bliss Austin, sold at auction on June 15, 1990 after his death
"Barnaby Ross" / "Ellery Queen" (Frederic Dannay)
A. H. Wheeler & Co., booksellers
Notes: Complete copy, with original wrappers and ads. Unrestored and in near-fine condition. Starrett's first copy. Inscribed by Starrett on first leaf of advertisements as "First issue, First Edition, of this Impossibly rare book. V.S." Signed by Starrett ("Vincent Starrett") and twice by Frederic Dannay (as "Barnaby Ross" and "Ellery Queen") on the title page. The "9" of page "90" is complete. Without "I"
The front wrapper of this copy was reproduced with a 1937 Associated Press story by Charles Honce about the fiftieth anniversary of the Holmes stories. Distributed for publication starting on April 18, 1937, the story appeared on various dates in different newspapers, including on May 9, 1937 in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Honce later reprinted the article (without the photo) in A Sherlock Holmes Birthday and Other Bookish Stories Conceived in the Form of News (1938),
References: Stock 'Citings' R21a; Rossakis 9/10/12, 3/22/12, 6/4/06, 1/13/03 e-mail; Blau e-mail Sep.-Oct. 21012; Scuttlebutt June, Aug. 1990; Sotheby's catalog 15 June 1990; Rossakis CR3; Bergem #20. (Last updated 11/24/12)
Current Owner: Not Identified, 21 June 2007 – present (July 2007)
Heir of Walter Pond, sold at auction June 2007
Walter Pond, purchased December 1975, died January 2003
Lew David Feldman, purchased in 1975 and sold to Pond
Donegall Estate, sold to Feldman
Sixth Marquis of Donegall, died May 1975
Notes: Complete copy with spine in facsimile and some restoration to wrappers, repairs to margins of some preliminary advertisements and the frontispiece. Without "I"
References: Sotheby's NY 6/21/07 catalog; Scuttlebutt June, Apr. 2007, Jan. 2003; Rossakis CR11; Bergem #23; Blau. (Last updated 3/22/12)
R23. Portsmouth Central Library (Portsmouth, England)
Richard Lancelyn Green bequeathed his entire Conan Doyle collection, including his fine copy of Beeton's, to Portsmouth's library service. It can be found in their online catalogue using "Beetons Christmas" as the title.
Richard Lancelyn Green, 1990 – 2004, died 27 March 2004
Peter L. Stern, sold in 1990 to Green
Marvin P. Epstein, purchased in 1987, died March 1988
Otto Penzler, purchased in 1987 and sold to Epstein
Private collector in California, sold in 1987 to Penzler
Library website: http://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/learning/libraries.html
Library Catalog Record: Conan Doyle reference 823 DOY - Z000025715
Exhibited: Portsmouth 125th Holmes Anniversary (24 November 2012 – 31 January 2013)
Photos on my Portsmouth Celebrates 125 Years of Sherlock with Beeton's 1887 page, and a smaller photo in the Collection's Autumn 2005 newsletter (PDF).
Notes: Complete copy in superb condition. Per Rossakis, includes "I"
References: Beeton's 125 Years; Portsmouth City Council 11/20/12 & 8/5/04 press releases; Library Autumn 2005 newsletter; Green 12/13/03 e-mail; Scuttlebutt Aug. 2004, March 2004, March 1988; Library Online Catalogue; Rossakis CR1; Bergem #24; Blau. (Last updated 11/24/12)
R24. Garth Hazlett
Current Owner: Garth Hazlett, Spring 2005 – present (May 2006)
Peter L. Stern (book dealer), 2001 – Spring 2005
Sold at Christie's NY auction, 17 April 2001
David Waxman, a book dealer, 1999 – 2000
Sold at Phillips, Son & Neale auction, 5 November 1999
Private collector in England, ca. 1940 – 1999
Notes: Bound in late 19th century cloth with all text pages (1-144), contents page, and the illustration facing the first page of text, but lacking wrappers, ads and title page. Private library ink stamps on front free endpaper and blank recto of frontispiece illustration. Also bound with Bow Bells Annual for 1870. Without "I"
References: Stock 'Citings' R24a; Hazlett 5/1/06 letter to me; Stern 4/6/05, 10/23/03 e-mail; Scuttlebutt May 2000; Rossakis CR26; Bergem #26 & note. (Last updated 7/17/07)
R25. Not Identified (Liebman copy)
Current Owner: Not Identified
Charles J. Liebman, sold at auction on Feb. 22, 1995 after his death
Claremont (on the Contents leaf)
Walter Schatzki (bookseller's slip)
Notes: Bound without wrappers or ads.
References: Scuttlebutt March 1995; Rossakis CR28; Bergem #27. (Last updated 3/22/12)
Current Owner: Alan Denner, 1972 – present (March 2012)
Lew David Feldman, sold in 1972
May have been owned by James Holroyd (see copy RX5)
Notes: Bound in 3/4 Morocco, includes frontispiece illustration and all text pp. 1-138, but lacks original front/back covers and advertisements. The "9" of page "90" is defective. Includes "I"
References: Stock 'Citings' R26a; Denner 3/22/12, 4/6/05, 11/14/02 e-mail; Rossakis CR27; Bergem #28. (Last updated 3/22/12)
Current Owner: Private Collector.
Marvin P. Epstein, died March 1988
Notes: Complete copy in good condition, with facsimiles of the wrappers and first and last leaf of ads. Includes "I"
References: Copy viewed October 2004; Personal correspondence; Scuttlebutt March 1988; Rossakis CR12; Bergem #22; Blau. (Last updated 10/30/04)
Current Owner: Not Identified, 12/3/04 – present (December 2004)
Natalie K. Blair (Mrs. J. Insley Blair), died 1952, sold from her library at auction Dec. 2004
Notes: Complete copy in good condition, with some wear and loss to front wrapper. Per Rossakis, without "I"
References: Sotheby's NY 12/3/04 catalog; Scuttlebutt Dec. 2004; Rossakis CR7 (Last updated 3/22/12)
R29. University of Wyoming (Laramie , Wyoming)
This is part of the Frederick W. Toppan Collection in the Toppan Library at the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center. It can be found in their online catalog using "Study in Scarlet" as the title.
Toppan Collection site: http://www.uwyo.edu/ahc/about/departments/toppan/
Library Catalog Record: AHC - Toppan Rare Books PR4622 .D6 1887
Notes: Bound in navy morocco leather by Bayntun-Riviere of Bath with all edges gilt and marbled endpapers. Includes all text pages 1-138 and frontispiece illustration, but lacks original wrappers, title page, contents page, and advertisements. Includes "I"
References: Stock 'Citings' R29a; Toppan Library staff 8/06 e-mails; Catalog; Rossakis CR29 (Last updated 3/21/12)
Current Owner: Not Identified (July 2007)
Pimlico Books, a dealer
Not Identified, sold at Bloomsbury Auctions 1 November 1999
Notes: Bound in contemporary half calf, text only pp. 1-138 with frontispiece illustration but lacking original wrappers, title page, contents page and advertisements. Also bound with three other magazine Christmas numbers.
References: Stock 'Citings' R30a; Bloomsbury Auctions 7/18/07 e-mail; Bloomsbury 11/1/99 catalogue; Peter Blau 7/12/07 e-mail; Rossakis CR31 (Last updated 7/26/07)
R31. Private collector in the North of England (Oxfam copy)
Current Owner: Private collector, 5/20/08 – present (March 2012)
Oxfam International (by anonymous donation in 2003, sold in 2008)
George Arthur Hodgson (from bookplate)
Notes: Bound in contemporary half morocco, with title and Contents pages, the frontispiece illustration, the complete text body (pp. 1-138), and some of the back-matter advertisements (pp. 139-144). It lacks the original wrappers and other advertisements (except those on verso of title and Contents). Also bound with four other magazine Christmas numbers. Includes "I"
References: Oxfam Beeton's at Bonhams 2008; Owner's 3/26/12 e-mail; Bonhams 5/20/08 catalogue; Scuttlebutt Apr., May 2008; Rossakis CR30 (Last updated 3/26/12)
Copy reported by Australian Book Auctions
Current Owner: Not Identified
Reported as offered by an Australian book dealer in November 2011
Reported as purchased in a box of books bought in Victoria, Australia
Not owned by John Loder, although offered in an auction with his books
See photos of the binding and title page
Notes: Bound by Aquarius in half red morocco, with title, Contents, frontispiece illustration and all text. Includes most advertisements but lacks original wrappers, three leaves of front-matter ads and adverts from pp. 157-168. Includes "I"
References: Beeton's at Australian Book Auctions 2011 (with additional information); Australian Book Auctions 30 May 2011 catalog; Australian Book Auctions staff 6/30/11, 6/2/11, 5/17/11 e-mail; Book dealer 11/23/11 e-mail; Rossakis CR32 (Last updated 3/25/12)
R33. Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Part of the William B. Wisdom Collection, which also includes the 1888 Study in Scarlet.
Special Collections site: http://library.tulane.edu/collections/spec_collections
Library Catalog Record: Jones Hall Rare Books PR4622 .S76 1887
Notes: Nearly complete copy, bound in green leather, lacking only the original front cover and frontispiece illustration. The front-matter advertisements are bound-in at the end along with the original spine (repaired) and back wrapper. With bookplates of Alain de Suzannet and William B. Wisdom. Without "I"
References: Stock 'Citings' R33a; Tulane staff 3/19/12 e-mail; Catalog. (Last updated 3/20/12)
The following items have been reported but do not qualify as confirmed Beeton's copies for a variety of reasons. If you have additional information about these copies or know about other copies, please contact me.
The British Library in London served as a copyright depository in 1887 and presumably received its copy of Beeton's at the time of publication. Although it is still listed in the BLPC online catalog under the title "Study in Scarlet," this copy no longer exists. References: Catalog; Bergem reference; 9/2/02 e-mail to ACD Discussion List from M.C. Black via Bergem; Blau; Hall (editorial note). (Last updated 11/25/02)
Library website: http://www.bl.uk/
Notes: Destroyed by enemy bombs during World War II. The record suggests it may have been a bound copy with text only. (P.P.6704)
RX2. Yale University (Copy Missing)
See Yale copy R16 for collection and library details. This copy was reported missing in March 2003 and was still missing in December 2003. The Orbis catalog entry is somewhat confusing as it also refers to another item (Ia107 B393 13-15) that includes three earlier Beeton's volumes as well as two related volumes. However, it does not appear that the Holmes issue (Ia107 B393 28) was bound with any other material. Yale also holds copies R16, R17 and R18 as well as "missing" Yale copy RX3. References: Yale staff 11/03 and 12/03 e-mails to me; Constantine Rossakis 4/6/03 phone call; Catalog; Bergem #10. (Last updated 12/18/03)
Notes: No description available. Missing copy. (SML Stacks Ia107 B393 28)
RX3. Yale University (Missing or ghost copy)
See Yale copy R16 for collection and library details. This copy (RX3: SML Stacks In D772 887Sc) was reported as having been transferred to Beinecke and given the new call number "Beinecke 1974 89" (Yale copy R17). However, a later message from the Yale staff indicates that this is still under investigation. The Orbis online catalog entry for "SML Stacks In D772 887Sc" may therefore be for historical purposes and only indicates a "ghost copy," or it may be that RX3 is a distinct copy and is missing. Yale also holds copies R16, R17 and R18 as well as "missing" Yale copy RX2. References: Yale staff 11/03 and 12/03 e-mails to me; Yale staff 11/13/03 phone call; Constantine Rossakis 4/6/03 phone call; Catalog; Bergem #11. (Last updated 12/18/03)
Notes: No description available. Missing or ghost copy. (SML Stacks In D772 887Sc)
RX4. York University (Copy Missing)
York University in Toronto, Canada may have held a Beeton's copy. An 1887 copy is listed in their online catalog under the title "Beetons Christmas" and was apparently held in the regular collections of Scott Library. However, it was reported missing in September 2003 and the catalog has been revised to show that status. References: York staff 9/9/03 e-mail to me; Catalog. (Last updated 12/20/03)
Library web site: http://www.library.yorku.ca/
Notes: No details available. (AP 101 B4 1887)
According to an editorial note to Hall's 1963 BSJ article, James Holroyd owned a Beeton's copy in 1963. It's possible that this is one of those already listed as a confirmed copy, and Richard Lancelyn Green once identified it as copy R26 above. That copy does match the description of textual variants noted for Holroyd's copy. References: Personal correspondence; Hall (editorial note). (Last updated 4/6/05)
Notes: The "9" of page "90" was defective. Includes "I"
RX6. University of Colorado (BSI Facsimile)
The Chinook online catalog for the University of Colorado at Boulder lists a copy under the periodical title "Beeton" held in their Special Collections. While not indicated in the online record, this is actually a BSI facsimile edition. References: CU staff 9/5/03 e-mail to me; Catalog. (Last updated 12/20/03)
Notes: BSI facsimile edition with associated dust jacket. (AP 101 B4)
RX7. California State University Chico (No record)
It's been reported that CSU Chico held a copy of Beeton's 1887. However, there is no record of this in the online catalog and the Department Head of Special Collections stated that they had never held "this particular Annual." References: CSU staff 12/3/01 e-mail to me; Catalog. (Last updated 12/19/03)
I've been told that Rollin Van Nostrand Hadley owned a copy of Beeton's. Hadley, a BSI who died in 1992, had a fine collection of Conan Doyle material including the manuscript for "The Abbey Grange." He may have purchased his Beeton's from Lew David Feldman, who was a prominent Sherlockian dealer from the 1950s to the 1970s. A private collector in the Midwest may have purchased this copy in the 1990s. It's also possible that Vincent Starrett, who definitely owned two other copies (R4 and R21) at different times, once owned this copy as well.
This copy is probably not accounted for on this checklist, but it's not a distinct "confirmed" copy until more details are available or current ownership is verified.
Please contact me if you have any information about this copy. References: Personal correspondence; Scuttlebutt Feb. 1992. (Last updated 4/6/05)
RX9. Southern Methodist University (No record)
According to Peter E. Blau, a copy at SMU was listed in OCLC in 1992. SMU could not locate this copy in 1992, but noted that some materials had been stolen from their collection. It's possible their 1992 catalog entry was in error. As of 2012, there is no OCLC entry for a Beeton's at SMU and no entry in the SMU library catalog. References: Peter Blau 5/28/11, 5/23/11 e-mail; Catalogs. (Last updated 3/27/12)
Carl Anderson purchased his first Beeton's from England via Philadelphia book dealer Mabel Zahn. It was bound up with other material, and destroyed with Anderson's library in a 1960 fire. He acquired his second copy (R15) when he bought Edgar W. Smith's collection from Smith's widow. References: Peter Blau 5/28/11 e-mail. (Last updated 3/27/12)
Current Owner: A "Private Collector" is identified but requested anonymity for this online census
Copy Descriptions: Descriptions are based on multiple sources, and where conflicting, rely on the most authoritative source(s). Points from library online catalogs are used only when no other sources were available.
"Complete" copies: May be bound, but must have original wrappers (excluding the spine) and all leaves present. Some leaves may have minor restoration or small pieces missing.
Library Catalog Record: Provides the call number and, when available, a permalink to the online record. I also list the search field and term used to locate the copy at the beginning of the entry for each library copy.
Other Checklists: Rossakis (2011), Bergem (2002), and Blau (1987) may provide additional information on subjects or points not covered in this checklist. Where our entries conflict, I believe this checklist contains more current information. All their copies are cross-referenced in the relevant entry here.
References: Lists the principle references for each copy. Some entries include links to additional information and sources about that copy.
Dates: Abbreviated dates are given in the American form of month/day/year.
Private/ Unique Copies: Multiple sources indicate that all entries reflect distinct copies, even when the current owner is not known. It's likely that a few privately held copies are not yet identified on this checklist. If you know of other copies or have additional information about the ones listed here, please contact me.
Occasionally people prefer that some of the information they provide, or their identity, be kept private. I've done that for them and would similarly respect your wishes.
This checklist accounts for and cross-references all copies identified by Rossakis (2011), Bergem (2002), and Blau (1987), and it includes copies not listed in their reports. While it contains some corrections and updates to their information, their reports have other useful material that is not repeated here. See also the Key to Census Entries & Terms.
Bergem, Phillip G. "The 1887 Beeton’s Christmas Annual: A History and Current Census." The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota Christmas Annual 2002, (December 2002): 8-18. This update to Blau's 1987 census includes a short history of the magazine, a collation for the 1887 issue, and a table with 28 numbered copies along with their descriptions and prior ownership information. The copies in the article are cross-referenced in this checklist, but Bergem's table includes additional provenance and descriptive material.
Blau, Peter E. "Prolegomenon to a Census of Beeton's Christmas Annual." Baker Street Miscellanea, No. 52 (Winter 1987): 16-19. A preliminary census identifies 14 copies and notes that 10 others have been reported. While Bergem's 2002 article updates the census, this article remains a useful reference for its provenance information and collecting anecdotes. This article is on the BSM CD-ROM.
De Waal, Ronald Burt. The Universal Sherlock Holmes. Edited by George A. Vanderburgh. Foreword by John Bennett Shaw. Illustrated by Betty and George Wells. Toronto: Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library, 1994. The ultimate guide to all things Sherlockian indexes Beeton's as C1226 and the associated facsimiles as C1227, C1228, and C1229. It's available from George Vanderburgh's Battered Silicon Dispatch Box website. An electronic version of this work is available online from the University of Minnesota.
Green, Richard Lancelyn, and John Michael Gibson. A Bibliography of A. Conan Doyle. First revised edition. New York: Hudson House, 2000. The definitive Conan Doyle bibliography recounts the relevant publication history on pages 9-11 and 713. Gibson produced the Centenary Facsimile noted elsewhere.
Hall, William S. "An Enquiry into the Nature of a Certain Nineteenth Century Beeton's Christmas Annual." The Baker Street Journal, Vol. 13, No. 2 (June 1963): 112-114. (BSJ CD-ROM Disk 2, file 68). Hall highlights some differences between the BSI facsimile of Beeton's and the original. Purchase information for the BSJ CD-ROM is available from the Baker Street Journal website.
Occidental College. Special Collections Department. Photo of Beeton's cover from the Guymon Collection, used with permission.
Pollock, Donald K. and Jon L. Lellenberg. "A Study in Scarlet: The Early Critics." Baker Street Miscellanea, No. 52 (Winter 1987): 1-5. Briefly describes copy R19 and provides excerpts of some reviews pasted into this copy. This article is on the BSM CD-ROM.
Pull, John, ed. A Catalogue of Sherlockian Books and Manuscripts. Boston: The Speckled Band, 1994. This catalogue lists material at Harvard including the Beeton's deposited by The Speckled Band of Boston.
Rossakis, Constantine. "A Re-Enquiry into the Nature of a Certain Nineteenth Century Beeton's Christmas Annual: Determination of the True First Issue." The Baker Street Journal, Vol. 61, No. 4 (Winter 2011): 6-16. Rossakis checks 30 copies for the "I" in "I fancy" on page 90, as well as other points, and concludes copies that "lack the 'I' of 'I fancy...' and have a complete or nearly complete '9' character on page 90, are the true first edition, first issue run." He also classifies copies as complete and unrestored; unbound and restored, or bound and incomplete. His copy numbers CR1-CR32 are cross-referenced with each entry above. Article reprints are available at the BSJ website.
Russell, Richard and Elaine Gross Russell. Antique Trader Vintage Magazines Price Guide. Iola, Wisconsin: kp books, 2005. Includes more than 1,000 full-color photos, capsule histories of magazines and people who make issues collectible, and average retail prices for many issues. More details on Amazon.
Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press by Peter E. Blau, various issues. This invaluable Sherlockian newsletter is available online for 1985+ via <http://redcircledc.org/index.php?id=39>.
Stanford University. Department of Special Collections, Green Library. One bound copy of Beeton's.
Stock, Randall. "Stock 'Citings': Updates on Copies of Beeton's Christmas Annual." Privately published, 2012, <http://www.bestofsherlock.com/ref/stockcit.htm> (March 28, 2012). This supplement to the checklist provides additional notes on newly identified copies and significant new information on widely-known copies.
Stock, Randall. "A Sherlock Holmes Census: What's Really Out There." In Papers at an Exhibition, edited by Peter X. Accardo, John Bergquist, and Dan Posnansky, 175-200. New York: The Baker Street Irregulars in cooperation with Houghton Library, 2009. Discusses how a census is constructed, provides details and history on a number of copies, and includes a condensed version of this census. Based on a paper presented at the Harvard Conan Doyle Symposium in May 2009.
University of Minnesota. The Sherlock Holmes Collections, Elmer L. Anderson Library. Four copies of Beeton's.
For background on Samuel Beeton and a short history of his Christmas Annual, see Bergem's article and/or "Mr. and Mrs. Beeton's Christmas Annual" by Mary S. Cameron in the 1957 BSJ Christmas Annual (also on the BSJ CD-ROM). Robert Veld's "Beeton's Christmas Annual: Enter Sherlock Holmes" in The Passengers' Log, Vol. 10, No. 4 (7 August 2007), pp. 9-16 provides an excellent illustrated review of the 1887 edition, its history, its facsimiles, and Beeton's in Australia.
I started this checklist in the fall of 2001 and expanded it in November 2001 as a result of an online discussion of A Study In Scarlet with The Hounds of the Internet. The checklist was first posted in December 2002 for the Hounds next discussion of the story. The December 2003 edition was reformatted and included a number of revisions and additions. The edition for the April 2005 discussion lists one additional copy and updates ownership and descriptions for many entries. A November 2005 revision includes new details about the copies at the University of Minnesota and about the facsimile editions. The June 2006 edition provides new information about the Hazlett copy and the three Yale copies, along with minor updates on a few others. An August 2007 revision added two more copies, updated the Pond copy, and included new details about several others. The October 2008 census added one more copy to the list and new details on five other copies. A May 2010 update provided minor details on three copies along with info about the Sotheby's auction of R20. The March 2012 census added copies R32 and R33, and updated most of the existing entries. A minor update for November 2012 included more details on five copies, highlighted by the 125th Anniversary of Sherlock Holmes at Portsmouth (R23).
As noted in the checklist entries, staff members at many of the libraries and some auction houses provided invaluable assistance. The Occidental College Special Collections Department also made this checklist better by allowing me to include a photo of their copy. Thanks go to Beth Bogle (University of Minnesota), Jane Carpenter (Newberry Library), Gavin de Lacy (Australian Book Auctions), Elizabeth Frengel (Yale), Ken Hernden (York University), Timothy Johnson (University of Minnesota), Bill Jones (CSU Chico), Jessica Jones (Tulane), Stephen C. Jones (Yale), Anne Marie Lane (University of Wyoming), Simon Luterbacher (Bloomsbury Auctions), James L. Mitchell (National Library of Scotland), John Mustain (Stanford), Judy Parker (Yale), Simon Roberts (Bonhams), Peter Selley (Sotheby's), Mike Sutherland (Occidental College), Jenny Schwartzberg (Newberry Library), Michelle Visser (University of Colorado), John Walwyn-Jones (Bonhams), and Sarah Wheale (Oxford).
In addition, many private collectors and Sherlockians graciously offered their expertise and knowledge. I'm indebted to Bill Barnes, Rosie Beer, Phillip Bergem, John Bergquist, Peter E. Blau, Steve Clarkson, Alan Denner, Doug Elliott, Richard Lancelyn Green, Hugh Harrington, Garth Hazlett, Les Klinger, Jon Lellenberg, Ken Lowe, Jerry Margolin, Randee Mia, Constantine Rossakis, Peter L. Stern, Dr. Richard Sveum, Carolyn Tate, Nick Utechin, Robert Veld, , Ian Wood, Doug Wrigglesworth and others who preferred to remain anonymous.
While this checklist could never have been made without everyone's help, I am solely responsible for any errors or omissions. If I omitted your name, please be assured it was inadvertent and let me know so I can correct it.
More Sherlock Holmes Rarities
This website has information on many Conan Doyle manuscripts, including both Sherlock Holmes and non-Holmes material.
Please send me e-mail if you have additions, corrections or suggestions for this checklist.
Vers. 1.80bx Original work