December 28, 2009 9:36 AM
Some people may wonder why anyone would think it was worth it to keep a large collection of books (or stamps, doll houses, antique toys, or any other kind of collection) in self-storage. Collecting thousands of items related to one topic might seem like an endless, thankless task. But one reason to persist with a collecting hobby is that books, documents, antiques, and artwork may someday be in demand by academic institutions or museums. For example, today anyone looking for a repository of Sherlock Holmes memorabilia need look no farther than the University of Minnesota, thanks in large part to generous donations from private collectors.
The collection at the University of Minnesota began in 1974, when the university bought private collector James C. Iraldi's 160 volumes of Holmes first editions and periodicals featuring stories about Holmes. Then, in 1978, the widow of Mayo Clinic doctor Philip S. Hench, who was a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, donated his rather extensive Holmes collection. Later, Los Angeles lawyer Les Klinger, the author of The Annotated Sherlock Holmes series, who also provided guidance for Sherlock Holmes, the movie, donated his papers to the library. [More]