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The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes | By Srosh Hassan

“There is nothing like first-hand evidence.”

~ Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet

You can experience first-hand evidence for yourself at The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes! In its only stop in Canada, this featured exhibit at the TELUS World of Science Edmonton transports you to 1886 Victorian London to the study of a struggling young doctor, Arthur Conan Doyle. Visitors get a glimpse into his inspiration and experiences leading to the creation of the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. Doyle’s enigmatic character quickly captivated readers in his first appearance in A Study in Scarlet, and continued to enthrall readers with each new mystery, culminating in 56 short stories and four novels.

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Inspired by his former University of Edinburgh professor, Joseph Bell, Doyle created the iconic sleuth known in popular culture for his meticulous observation and astute deductive reasoning. Sherlock Holmes has been depicted in theatre, film, and television for over a hundred years, and the exhibit showcases an impressive collection of both vintage and modern day collectibles. Along with props and costumes from recent movies and shows, including CBS production Elementary and the BBC’s Sherlock, the exhibit also presents original manuscripts, first editions, period artifacts, and a remarkable original murder mystery waiting to be solved.

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With detective notebooks in hand, visitors can experience the new Sherlock Holmes mystery written exclusively for the exhibition by acclaimed writer and Sherlockian Daniel Stashower. As the mystery unfolds, visitors adventure through 19th century London as they perform scientific experiments, observe critical details, and chase clues.  The interactive exhibition invites visitors to practice Holmesian tools of investigation to solve a baffling case and experience the world of scientific detective workGuests explore developments in science and technology in the 1890s, including techniques that changed the way police work was conducted in the real world and paved the way for modern day forensics.

“The best part about bringing this exhibit to life is that it combines education and information along with entertainment. Sherlock Holmes teaches us about science, observation, literature, and brings people together,” Will Peterson, Director of Marketing & Special Projects at Exhibits Development Group, tells us. “My favourite designed piece brought to life is Sherlock’s and Dr. Watson’s study at 221B Baker Street. It’s been in the imaginations of readers for over a century and to see it in person with immeasurable detail and items from all of their cases is really special.”

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“We wanted people to step out of the museum and into Victorian England,” Geoffrey Curley says, commenting on the experience of Geoffrey M. Curley + Associates in designing the immersive exhibit. “The research and making sure it’s accurate is always a big process. Sherlockians really know Sherlock Holmes and we wanted to live up to their expectations and be true to the stories. In the end, the exhibit really comes to life when people are here, engaging, working together, and learning.”

This comprehensive exhibition uses Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s spectacular stories to combine science and history and illustrate the influence of Sherlock Holmes on pop culture and modern day forensics.  What I love about this exhibit,” explains Mike Steger, VP Marketing & Communications for the TELUS World of Science, “is that we’re taking a popular icon known globally, and bringing it all in one place locally, giving the community a chance to see something they’d usually have to go to London to see.”

In the words of Sherlock Holmes himself, “Come at once if convenient. If inconvenient, come all the same.”

The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes is open at the TELUS World of Science Edmonton from March 25th through September 5th.

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Photography courtesy of the TELUS World of Science Edmonton.

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