The Baker Street Irregulars

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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 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]

The organization long resisted admitting women, something not altered until 1991.[3] This policy spawned a female-centered organization, the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes.[5]

Members of the society participate in "the game"[6] which postulates that Holmes and Doctor Watson were real and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was merely Watson's "literary agent".[7]


Membership is by invitation only[5] based on criteria unknown to the public.[3] Members take on a name inspired by the canon[8] with the head of the organization known as "Wiggins".[3] Since its inception, the organization has only had 683 members.[9]

Notable members[edit]

Notable members of the Baker Street Irregulars include the following:

The Baker Street Journal[edit]

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

Scion societies[edit]

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] Others include 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 c 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 Dirda, Michael (February 2, 2012). "Sherlock Lives!". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  7. ^ a b Grann, David (December 13, 2004). "Mysterious Circumstances". The New York Times. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Lynch, Michelle N. (January 28, 2018). "Exeter man admitted to exclusive Sherlock Holmes literary society". Reading Eagle. Retrieved January 28, 2018. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "List of Invested BSI, Two-Shilling Award Recipients, and The Woman" (PDF). BSI History Resources. The Baker Street Irregulars Trust. Retrieved 2016-01-28. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Blumenberg, Taylor (January 10, 2016). "Episode 71: Bert Coules". Baker Street Babes. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  13. ^ a b Zeffren, Tamar (September 26, 2015). "The 1971 BSI Dinner". The BSI Trust. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  14. ^ Claire, Nancy (September 15, 2013). "Sherlockian Girl Goes Wilde: An Interview with Lyndsay Faye". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved January 5, 2018. 
  15. ^ Zeffren, Tamar (October 31, 2016). "The 2005 BSI Dinner". The BSI Trust. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  16. ^ Zeffren, Tamar (March 12, 2016). "The 1985 BSI Dinner". The BSI Trust. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 
  17. ^ "In Memoriam: Dr. David Musto". Yale Daily News. October 13, 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2018. 
  18. ^ Monty, Scott (January 8, 2017). "The 2017 BSI Weekend Ended in Friendship". 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ Shashower, Daniel (July 10, 2015). "Why Sherlock Holmes Endures". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-01-28. 
  21. ^ "Frederic D. Steele, An Illustrator, 70". The New York Times. July 7, 1944. Retrieved 2016-01-28. 
  22. ^ Zeffren, Tamar (May 19, 2016). "The 1993 BSI Dinner". The BSI Trust. Retrieved January 3, 2018. 

External links[edit]