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Neuzil Memorial Sherlock Holmes Advisory Committee, 1972 - 1991

The Raymond F. Neuzil Memorial Sherlock Holmes Collection was officially founded in September of 1980. It was established with the intention of becoming the premier center for Sherlock Holmes research in the United States. From 1980 to 1984, the advisory board for the Sherlock Holmes Collection attempted to gather books, films, memorabilia, and other items related to Sherlock Holmes. The collection consists of correspondence, promotional materials, news clippings, and other documents related to the Sherlock Holmes Collection at Illinois Benedictine College.


  • 1972 - 1991
  • Majority of material found within 1979 - 1984



.83 Linear Feet

Biographical / Historical

Raymond F. Neuzil had many roles, including Prefect in the Third Order of St. Francis and member of Hugo's Companions, the Chicago-area chapter of the international Sherlock Holmes society (the Baker Street Irregulars). Two years after Neuzil's passing in 1977, staff members at the Theodore Lownik Library began planning for the establishment of a Sherlock Holmes Collection in the library in his honor. At the time, there was no serious center for Sherlock Holmes research in the United States. The advisory board for the collection hoped to make Illinois Benedictine College a "major center for Holmes research." The collection was officially founded with a dedication ceremony that took place in September of 1980. Over the next few years, Illinois Benedictine College would host numerous Sherlock Holmes seminars and activities. Sherlock Holmes enthusiast Norman Davis was the main attraction for a small seminar held in the Lownik Library in 1982. In the spring of 1983, the advisory board out together a recognition dinner to gather support for the collection. In the summer of 1983, John Bennet Shaw, the largest collector of Sherlock Holmes material in the world, agreed to host a weekend seminar at Illinois Benedictine College. The Shaw seminar was the last major event to be hosted by the college. In December of 1983, John Bennet Shaw agreed to donate his substantial collection of Holmes books, news clippings, and memorabilia to the University of Minnesota upon his death. Feeling that it would not be feasible to compete with such a vast collection, members of the advisory board voted to discontinue the Sherlock Holmes Collection at Illinois Benedictine College. By 1984, the Neuzil Memorial Sherlock Holmes Collection had been moved to permanent storage and the library was no longer accepting new materials. Many of the items that were once on the collection were presumably donated elsewhere as the remnants of the collection are few.

Custodial History

This collection was assembled by the library staff at Illinois Benedcitne College between the years 1979-1991. Material acquired from the creators.

Separated Materials

Sherlock Holmes books, magazines, pictures, media, memorabilia, artifacts, etc. that were not related to Benedictine University were separated from the collection and sent to the University of Minnesota.

Processing Information

Reprocessed by Michael Diakoumis October-December, 2013

News clippings were photocopied and originals were discarded. Corrosive stickers, adhesives, staples, and paperclips were either removed or photocopied.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections Repository

Benedictine University
5700 College Rd.
Lisle IL 60532 United States