The Canon and The Journal – A Scrapbook

Introduction by ASHLEY MAYO

The Scrapbook has been updated and revised to December 2023.

It has long been my belief that the Journal of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London is one of the great sources for Sherlockian scholarship; however, there are two major obstacles to overcome before we, as enthusiasts, can make use of this fountain of knowledge. Firstly, one needs a complete set of the Journals and, secondly, to know where to find the information – contributors have this unfortunate habit of not referring to the story in the title of their articles. The other issue when I was thinking of a solution to these challenges was that I was in full time employment and also acting as Honorary Treasurer of the Society at the same time, so time was limited. Retirement and Covid provided an answer to this!

The first part of my grand scheme was to obtain all the back issues of the Journal that I did not possess. I have been fortunate in being able to call upon Roger Johnson for assistance on a number of occasions and he provided me with electronic versions of all of the Journals. I downloaded a free version of the Canon and set up folders for each story together with an Appendix to house all of the articles and letters. The next step was to read all of the Journals and copy all of the articles and letters related to a story into its folder. The early versions of the Journal all needed retyping by hand. Many pictures had to be “re-assembled” as they often had up to ten pieces when copied from the original version.

It soon became apparent that a number of articles and letters were either not specific to a single story or that they related to a number of stories. This led to me setting up other folders covering specific topics and also the duplication of articles and letters across stories.

After almost two years of reading and copying I finally had all of the articles and letters, totally over 1200, in the folders and appendices to the stories. The next step was to re-read all of the articles and letters and make notes that could be used as footnotes in the stories. Throughout, I have followed a personal preference in that all footnotes appear at the bottom of the page to which they relate. I also prepared a number of “general” footnotes which related to other folders within the Scrapbook. The next six months were used to put all these in place to provide the final versions.

The Scrapbook has now been updated and revised and concludes with the Winter 2023 edition of the Journal.

Given the number of articles and letters involved it was necessary, to quote Mr. Tupper Biglow, to create “the good old index”. This is in Excel format so that the reader can filter the information by author, article name, places where the article or letter is housed and which particular Journal it originated from.

Throughout, I have used the contributor’s name as it appeared in the Journal. The only exception has been Lord or Marquess Donegall who appears as “Lord”. I have also not made any corrections to the original text. In the indices to each story, articles from the Journal are shown in capitals; letters in italics. With regards to the latter, the title is that given by the editors to that letter.

I have called this collection a “Scrapbook” and that is what it is. It is a set of personal choices and any omissions are down to me. Given the wide range of topics and the number of articles and letters involved I hope I have not made any glaring errors. However, I hope that it will provide the general reader and the scholar with all of the relevant information that will allow them to gain a wider understanding of each story.

I would like to thank both Roger Johnson and the late Nicholas Utechin for their support. Most of all, I would like to show my appreciation to my wonderful wife Cath for her tolerance whilst I shut myself away for hours reading, copying and writing.


The Scrapbook is a collection of folders and files that are stored on Dropbox. To access the folders and files simply click on the link below.

The Scrapbook is organised into

  1. An Index outlining all of the scrapbook contents (The Index.xlsx)
    1. You can download the index file here: Scrapbook Index
  2. A folder for each of the short story collections
  3. A collection of PDFs for each of the stories as well as PDFs for particular areas of interest

Simply navigate through the Dropbox folder to locate the story of area of interest and double click on it.

You can then view the PDF on Dropbox.

Access the scrapbook

Please enjoy the Scrapbook

Ashley Mayo

May 2024

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