Arts & Entertainment

Library Hosts Program on Sherlock Holmes' Contribution to Forensics

July 13, 2014 at 2:00 PM

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The goal is to build off the idea of elements in literature, and so as part of the adult summer reading program at the Bridgewater Township Library, Dr. Vincent Cirillo spoke to guests about the impact Sherlock Holmes had on police and forensic science work.

"I have read Sherlock Holmes, and Benedict Cumberbatch has placed a renewed interest on the character," said Nanette Peterson, community outreach librarian, referring to the recent BBC relaunch of the show.

Cirillo read a paper he wrote for the "Sherlock Holmes Journal," called "Sherlock Holmes and the Beginnings of Forensic Science" at a presentation Friday. The paper discusses the ways in which Sherlock Holmes solved crimes in Arthur Conan Doyle's books, and how that changed the face of police forensic work.

Sign Up for E-News

Cirillo discussed footprints, fingerprints, handwriting analysis, poison knowledge, trace evidence and ballistic evidence, all of which was used to solve crimes in Doyle's novels - and was later used by police to more accurately analyze crime scenes.

"It was recommended that forensic students read Holmes for information on best practices," he said. "Modern forensic science owes much to the extraordinary vision of Sherlock Holmes."

Cirillo said he came across Doyle's work when he was in high school, and he devoured all the short stories and novels of Holmes. Later in life, when he wrote a book on the Spanish-American War, he did a chapter on the Boer War and Doyle's role in it as a physician.

"It rekindled my interest," he said.

Cirillo said he has always loved to talk about Holmes, and has given several lectures on the topic. He said he always focuses on the science part of the novels.

"I think it's beautiful literature, and the mysteries are exciting," he said. "It is fun to see how Holmes deduces (the answers)."

"Some have said the stories are so important for police to read," he added. "They show the importance of science to a crime scene."

In addition to the presentation, Peterson said a man named Peter Jacoby sat in the lobby with his own Sherlock Holmes memorabilia for anyone interested in seeing the books.

"We found someone local to come," she said. "He is there for walk-by traffic."

There will be a second presentation July 25 at 10:30 a.m. with Robert Moss, a professor at Rutgers University, who will disucss postage stamps that were issued by various countries in honor of Doyle and Holmes.

This is all part of several programs being held over the summer through the adult reading program, and which will also include a July 18 program called Combat Paper. Combat Paper is a program with the Printmaking Center of New Jersey, and it is about paper being made out of military uniforms.

As for the reading program itself, similar to the children's program, adult participants can keep track of the books they read over the summer, and it is being held among all the different branches of the library throughout Somerset County. The adults can win gift cards for different milestones throughout the program.

"Speakers come in for all different subjects geared for adults," Peterson said of the extras involved in the program.

For more information on the summer reading program or about the different speakers and presentations, visit The adult reading program lasts through Aug. 22.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Sat, December 10, 10:00 AM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Digital Photography 4 - Editing (1)

Education Green

Sat, December 10, 10:00 AM

Ted Blum 4-H Center, Bridgewater

4-H Festival of Trees

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, December 10, 7:00 PM

Bridgewater-Raritan High School, Bridgewater

Bridgewater-Raritan High School Fall Play

Arts & Entertainment

Somerset Man Arrested for Eluding Officers on Promenade Boulevard, According to Police Report

December 9, 2016

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A Somerset man was arrested Nov. 9 after he attempted to elude police officers on Promenade Boulevard, according to a report from Bridgewater Township Police.

Joseph A. Horbelt, 27, was arrested for eluding police in a motor vehicle, possession of drug paraphernalia and an outstanding warrant out of Franklin Township. He was also issued motor vehicle summonses for driving ...

Somerset Patriots Name Marc Schwartz As Radio Broadcaster

December 5, 2016

BRIDGEWATER, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have announced that Marc Schwartz has been named the radio broadcaster for the 2017 season.

Schwartz was hired as the Somerset Patriots’ Media Relations Manager in November of 2014 and will also continue in that role with the team throughout the year.

"I am beyond excited to begin the next stage of my career as the Somerset Patriots' new ...

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Celebrates 25th Anniversary

December 5, 2016

SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - The Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, which serves Somerset and Hunterdon counties, celebrated its 25th anniversary and its 50th home at its Dream Builders Gala.

The fundraising event was a night of excitement and gratitude when founders, homeowners, staff, board members, volunteer work crews and friends gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the ...

‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales' Captures Old-Fashioned Nostalgia at Shakespeare Theatre

MADISON, NJ – It’s clear the Welsh love to sing as the evening moves on with relatives gathering for Christmas dinner at the Thomas home in Wales.

The play opens with three children and then a chorus singing “In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,” a melancholy tune that conjures visions of Swansea, a village in Wales,  with “fallen snow on ...