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The Sherlock Holmes
Collector
THE BASICS

 
THE CANON: All Sherlockian book collections should begin with THE CANON... the common Sherlockian term for the original 56 short stories and 4 novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Canonical options are many, from the ORIGINALS (all pretty readily available, most at substantial expense) to the paperback reprints.  Any Canonical choice is fine, however, there are a few "get-you-started standouts", including:
 
The Annotated Sherlock Holmes, 1967, Bramhall, Ed. William S. Baring-Gould

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The most recommended volume to own. The original was 2 volumes in slipcases.  A reprint in one volume is available.
The Complete Sherlock Holmes 1930, Doubleday, with introduction by Christopher Morley

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The Memorial Edition was the first American compilation of all of the stories.  No annotations, but includes Christopher Morley's immortal In Memorium:  Sherlock Holmes
The Adventures, Further Adventures and Final Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
1950 and 1952-1957, Limited Edition Club and Heritage Books, edited and corrected by Edgar W. Smith.

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The most collectable of all the compilations.  The Heritage version is much more easily found and lower in price.  The LEC version is highly collecable and usually quite expensive.  This is not an annotated compilation.
The Oxford Sherlock Holmes
1993, Oxford University Press

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The most recommended compilation for the "Doylean".  This is an annotated compilation. 
WRITINGS ABOUT THE WRITINGS:  For a man who some say never lived at all (and we all no that isn't true), an astonishing amount of information, scholarly interpretation, writing and all-around "talking" has taken place concerning his life and times.  Many of these scholarly works are labeled Cornerstone Works by some of the finest Sherlockian scholars.  Many of these are listed in The Sherlock Holmes Library at The Diogenes Club and include recommendations from various scholarly resources.  The first and most important single work in this vein, Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes, written in 1911 by Monsignor Ronald A. Knox, can be found on this website.  Some recommended volumes for the Basic collection include:
 
Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes
1911, Monsignor Ronald A. Knox

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The Cornerstone essay which can be found in Essays in Satire
Sherlock Holmes:  Fact or Fiction
1932, T.S. Blakeny

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A Cornerstone work of essays.  This is available in reprint from a variety of sources.
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
1933, Vincent Starrett

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Considered THE "life" of Sherlock Holmes.  This is available in reprint
221b:  Studies in Sherlock Holmes
1940, Vincent Starrett

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The first American anthology.  This is available in reprint.
Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street
1942, William S. Baring-Gould

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Another "life" of Sherlock Holmes by the author of The Annotated Sherlock Holmes.  This is available in reprint.
Profile by Gaslight
1944, Edgar W. Smith

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A collection of writings by the editor of the LEC and Heritage Sherlock Holmes.
My Dear Holmes
1951, Gavin Brend

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A Cornerstone work.
World Bibliography of Sherlock Holmes
1974, Ronald B. De Waal

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The bibliography of the entire Sherlock Holmes world.
The Encyclopedia Sherlockiana
1977, Jack Tracy

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The encyclopedia of Sherlockian information from the canon.  This is available in reprint.  There are two other encyclopedias available:  The Sherlock Holmes Encyclopedia (Parks) and The Encyclopaedia Sherlockiana (Bunsen) which are also good, but not the CLASSIC.
The International Sherlock Holmes
1980, Ronald B. De Waal

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Followup bibliography from De Waal
PASTICHES AND PARODIES:  No Sherlockian worth his salt, it has been said, has failed to take up the pen to try his/her hand in writing another tale.  This is true, and the number of these works is astonishing.  Of course, they vary from just plain awful to simply wonderful and cover all of the grey areas in between.  Rather than list many of the pastiches and parodies, here, please check at The Sherlock Holmes Library for a review of some of the more important, unusual or rare volumes.  Some "Basics" are:
 
The Unique Hamlet
1920, Vincent Starrett

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Considered by most to be the absolutely best pastiche (short story) ever written.  The original is quite rare, but a reprint is found in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes:  A Drama in 4 Acts
1922, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and
William Hooker Gillette

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Considered one of the best Sherlock Holmes plays ever written.  This is available in reprint.
The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes
1944, Ellery Queen, Ed.

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Considered very highly collectable and very hard to find.  This book was suppressed due to questions of copyright.  If you can afford it... buy it!
In Re:  Sherlock Holmes, The Adventures of Solar Pons
1945, August Derleth

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Considered by many as the first of a long line of great "pastiches".  There are many more than this title.  This is available in reprint.
The Exploits Sherlock Holmes
1954, John Dickson Carr and 
Adrian Conan Doyle

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While not comprising the best of the pastiches, this collection is readily available in reprint.
The Incredible Schlock Homes
1956, Robert L. Fish
Widely considered the finest parodies.  Look also for The Memoirs of Schlock Homes.
The Seven-Percent Solution
1974, Nicholas Meyer

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Widely considered one of the reasons for the 1970's upsurge of interest in Sherlock Holmes.  This is available in book club editions, as well.
The Giant Rat of Sumatra
1976, Richard L. Boyer

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Widely considered one of the best pastiches (book length) ever written.  This book comes up quite often in its first edition (a paperback).
Prisoner of the Devil
1979, Michael Hardwick

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Widely considered one of the best pastiches (book length) ever written.
DOYLE: No Sherlockian should neglect this area of the basics.  There are many Doyle biographies and bibliographies.  Please check at The Sherlock Holmes Library for a review of them.  Here are a few exceptional choices.
 
The Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
1949, John Dickson Carr

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An excellent biography.  Available in reprint.
Conan Doyle
1964, Pierre Nordon

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Widely considered the best biography as of the 1960's
Teller of Tales:   The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle
1999, Daniel Stashower

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The newest of the biographies.  Available in paperback reprint.
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