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Concordancing the Sherlockian Canon

According to the analytics, a lot of users come to my site looking for the Searching for Sherlock concordance. It looks like that site is down for good, but there are freely available alternatives, like AntConc and Voyant Tools. For those with some programming experience (Python, Bash), I also recommend the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK).

These instructions are for AntConc version 3.5.9. I’ll update them for version 4 as soon as I have time, but the older version is still available for download.

Before getting started, please download the canon and lemmatization and stop-word lists from this Google Drive directory (there is also a useful guide to AntConc). Then extract the files from the “holmes” ZIP, but keep the texts together in a “holmes” folder.

After opening AntConc, you’ll probably want to add the lemmatization and stop word lists under Settings > Tool Preferences:

AntConc Settings and Tools

AntConc Word List

Select Open Directory and choose the “holmes” folder to load the stories and novels:

AntConc Directory

Finally, select Word List and Start to create a word list or click concordance to start searching.

AntConc Searchable Word List

You can also upload that directory (folder) to Voyant Tools for further analysis and visualization.

I’ve also created a word embedding projector for the canon using Word2Vec.