Anyone searching for clues about the enduring popularity of Sherlock Holmes need not look only to his headquarters on London's Baker Street. Deep in an underground cavern at the University of Minnesota lies the world's largest collection of Holmes memorabilia — a cache sure to expand with material from the new "Sherlock Holmes" movie starring Robert Downey Jr. as the pipe-puffing super sleuth…
The school began amassing the Sherlock Holmes Collections in 1974, buying collector James C. Iraldi's library of Holmes first editions — 160 volumes and a similar number of periodicals. Four years later, Johnson said, the widow of Mayo Clinic doctor Philip S. Hench donated his Holmes collection. Hench, who shared the 1950 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for developing cortisone to treat pain in arthritic patients, had died in 1965.
AP , by Jeff Baenen, 12/15/09