YORK, Pa. — “Elementary, my dear Watson,” is a phrase often attributed to the fictional private detective Sherlock Homes. Ask Hannah Bartkowski, a Penn State York student and semi-Sherlock Holmes expert, and she will tell you that he never really spoke those words. Bartkowski will share that factoid, and many others, during the International Sherlock Holmes Celebration, set for noon to 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, in the Lee R. Glatfelter Library on campus. The event is free and open to the public.
Bartkowskil planned the event and has done extensive research as part of English 496, an independent study course, with Jennifer Nesbitt, associate professor of English at Penn State York. Nesbitt suggested the idea to her student because she knew of Bartkowski’s interest in mystery novels.
“I was a fan of Sherlock Holmes as a kid, and as I got older, I read the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,” said Bartkowski. “I was able to read a bunch of fun detective stories, watch movies and television shows, and explore all the different aspects of the characters as part of my project.”
Since Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain, meaning anyone can write about him or use his name as a character, Bartkowski had plenty of material to choose from in doing her research.
For Bartkowski, a communications arts and sciences major and English minor, being able to pursue something she loves as a part of a college course was perfect. As part of the celebration, those who attend will play games, answer trivia questions, and gain a better understanding of the famous fictional private eye.
In addition to the games and other fun, members of the Penn Players, Penn State York’s theatre group, will take part and bring characters to life.
A selection of books and materials about the famous gumshoe are on display in the library, and Bartkowski is thankful for all the support she received from the library staff.
“The whole library staff has been so enthusiastic and excited about my project,” said Bartkowski. “They have also learned a bit more about Sherlock Holmes in the process.”
Penn State York first-year students who attend the event can earn 50 ConnectED points. ConnectED is a Penn State York library first-year experience in which eligible students earn points by participating in library-sponsored events and by making connections to others on campus. At the end of the academic year, the students with the most points will receive $2,018 to be used to return to Penn State York in his or her sophomore year.