Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created one of the most popular fictional characters in modern literature, the detective Sherlock Holmes.  Doyle was probably well aware that a great detective novel needs more than a great detective, there should also be an intriguing crime. By exploring The New York Public Library’s Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture database—a digital archive that presents a broad history of crime in the 19th century with over 2 million pages of primary source materials, including manuscripts, books, broadsheets, and periodicals—we can begin to understand what might have inspired the most iconic detective books of all time. Check it out now.