About The Baker Street Irregulars Trust

The Musgrave Ritual consisted of a list of eight questions whose answers also nicely summarize the essential facts about The Baker Street Irregulars Trust:

1. Whose was it? (What exactly is The Baker Street Irregulars Trust?)

The Baker Street Irregulars Trust is a special part of the New York City based literary society dedicated to the study of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Victorian world.  The Trust's purpose is to assemble, preserve, and make available for study materials related to the history of The Baker Street Irregulars and individuals and organizations that have devoted themselves to such studies.

2. Who shall have it? (Where is the Trust Archive, and who may use it?)

The Baker Street Irregulars Archive is located at the Houghton Library at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Any adult researcher, subject to the normal rules and regulations of the Library, may use the material.

3. What was the month? (When was the Trust and The Archive created?)

The Trust came into being in 2003, at the impetus of Michael Whelan, "Wiggins" of The Baker Street Irregulars.  As Wiggins, Mr. Whelan took over curatorship of a large body of papers belonging to previous heads of the BSI and determined to make these papers the beginning of an archive of the BSI and to make those papers accessible to scholars.  The Archive was formally opened at the Houghton in November, 2005.

The Trust is governed by a board of trustees which operates independently of The BSI leadership.

4. Where was the sun? (Who may donate to The Archive?)

The trustees seek materials and monetary contributions from all sources.  In particular, the trustees hope to attract private papers relating to the history of The BSI and the Irregulars who make up its history.  The trustees also welcome contributions of items (principally, books) that may be sold for the benefit of The Trust as well as cash contributions.  See our Wish List of materials (PDF) that we're interested in obtaining.

5. Where was the shadow? (How will my donation be recognized?)

Significant contributions to The Trust may be publicized in The Baker Street Journal and The Trust newsletter.

6. How was it stepped? (How do I make a donation?)

See our Donations page for details.  We will be happy to provide assistance if you need help in making provision in your estate to donate materials or cash to the BSI Trust.

7. What shall we give for it? (What should I consider donating?)

The Trust seeks primary materials regarding the history of The BSI and The Irregulars.  This consists of correspondence, photographic and audio materials, manuscripts of historical documents, biographical material, newspaper clippings, and magazine articles. It also can accept valuable Sherlockian books that may be sold to raise funds for The Trust.  The Trust does not intend to create a collection which duplicates the Sherlock Holmes Collections of the University of Minnesota Library or the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection of the Toronto Metropolitan Reference Library and so does not actively seek editions of the Sherlock Holmes Canon or scholarly works unless the material has a direct bearing on the history of The BSI or The Irregulars.  See our Wish List of materials (PDF) that we're interested in obtaining.

8. Why should we give it? (Do I get tax benefits from making a donation?)

The Trust, as a part of The BSI, is an educational and literary organization described in Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170 of such Code for federal and most state income tax purposes.  Donors should consult their own tax advisors with respect to the applicable limitations on such deductions.  Please see our Donations page for more details.