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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 June 2006, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Holmes 'was 19th Century Potter'
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had a medical practice in Portsmouth
The director of an exhibition of a huge collection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle memorabilia says the author's success was similar to that of JK Rowling.

More than 16,000 books, papers and other items have gone on show at Portsmouth's museum for the first time.

The collection's director, Dr Neil McCaw, compared the author's greatest creation to Harry Potter.

"Sherlock Holmes was the 19th Century equivalent of Harry Potter in the way he crossed over society," he said.

Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle are very much still part of our popular culture
Dr Neil McCaw

"It is really exciting to be able to open up this unique collection to the general public for the first time and give people a chance to see the life's work of one of the world's greatest Conan Doyle scholars.

"Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle are very much still part of our popular culture."

The collection belonged to Richard Lancelyn Green, a leading expert on Sherlock Holmes, and was bequeathed to the city council on his death in 2004.

The four-month long exhibition includes rare first editions and many of Conan Doyle's personal items.

On show are his monogrammed cigar case and steel-rimmed spectacles, as well as a letter from President Roosevelt applying for membership of the US Sherlock Holmes Society, The Baker Street Irregulars.

The exhibition also includes a short film featuring Stephen Fry, who is a Sherlock Holmes enthusiast and the patron of the collection.

An even larger exhibition of material from the collection, worth more than 2m, is planned for summer 2007.

Holmes collection left to library
06 Aug 04 |  Hampshire
Doyle notebook to go on display
08 Jun 04 |  Scotland

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