Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Holmes in the Heartland keynote and onward.

It had been a few years since I'd heard Tim Johnson, curator of the great Holmes collection at the University of Minnesota, speak solo at the podium, and he was the perfect choice for this "Holmes in the Heartland" program spinning off the new St. Louis Library collection of Sherlockiana.  While such a collection's start does not need the nods of existing public collections like Minnesota and Toronto, having him here to "bless" this latest library endeavor somehow gives it a bit of magical significance.

Tim's talk, drawn from his own experiences with seeing people, especially very young people, interact and be inspired by the collection he curates, was inspirational both in a library sense and in a general Sherlockian sense about how we treat those coming into our world. I'll admit that tears were welling up at one point during the talk, and his speaking arc brought a big laugh soon after, which was just the perfect flow for a speaker.

Bill Mason's well-researched deep dive into the origins of the pun "There's no police like Holmes," based on that so-old, so-familiar song, "Home Sweet Home." It's a marvelously inspired topic, the kind that a mind like Bill's can grab like a hellhound with Sir Hugo in its jaws and shake every drop of enlightenment out of it. He's actually collected a legion of instances of it, dug deep into who may have originated it, and he's taking us on a tour of everything about the topic. (Including full color handouts! Love me some handouts!) And he ends in song.

And it's lunchtime! Onward!

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