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Feature

Recreation of 221B Baker Street in Wilson Library.

Experience 221B Baker Street at Wilson Library on the Twin Cities campus.

Holmes's home

Thanks to a generous donor and avid Sherlockian, 221B Baker Street is now a University address

From M, fall 2007

"Allen started reading Sherlock Holmes when we were kids," says Mel Mackler of his late brother. "And when he got into something, he really got into it." Allen Mackler became an avid collector of Sherlockiana and an active member of national and local Sherlock Holmes societies.

When he died in 2005, Allen Mackler made the largest bequest ever received by the Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota Libraries, including 5,000 to 6,000 books, original pieces of Sherlockian art, a gift to fund a curator for the collections, and a full-scale replica of Holmes's sitting room at 221B Baker Street, which resides at Wilson Library.

The room is complete with furniture, wall hangings, and light fixtures that recreate the period--even teacups that are true to the text. "Going into this room in Allen's house was like stepping into a time warp," Mel recalls. "Collectors do a close reading of the texts where the sitting room is described and put the pieces together as authentically as possible," says Tim Johnson, curator of Special Collections and Rare Books at the U. "Allen's room was a sacred place for him and is attracting Sherlockians from all over the world. We're honored to have it." Click for more articles on arts and culture.