Sherlockian.Net: The Hounds of the Internet

The Hounds of the Internet is the longest established online group for the discussion of Sherlock Holmes and kindred topics.

How the Hounds-L listserv works, originally prepared by John McGowan

[Hounds logo] Consider a club which produces a newsletter. It may have a secretary and an Editor for the newsletter. The Editor may take care of creating and sending the news letter out to a mailing list provided by the secretary (and the mailing list provided by the secretary may indicate whether the Editor is to mail the newsletter annually, or monthly or whatever). To get on the mailing list, one would send a letter to the secretary, while to contribute an article one would send a letter to the Editor.

So, too, many mailing lists are handled through two addresses: let me call them the secretary's address and the Editor's address (these are just facets of the list processor programme).

Secretary: This is the address to which you send requests to join or leave the list, or to get information on the number of current subscribers or to have the list mailed to you in "nodigest" format (messages sent throughout the day, instead of being held and sent as one large daily message). For the Hounds of the Internet this is listserv @

To subscribe to the Hounds of the Internet, send a message to the Secretary address, listserv @, with no subject line and one line in the message:subscribe hounds-L. Send the message from the email address at which you wish to receive the posts from the Hounds of the Internet (for example, if you use AOL as your internet provider, but want to use Yahoo for your Hounds messages, send the message from your Yahoo account). If you later want to unsubscribe, post messages, or change your options on the mailing list, those actions must originate from this Yahoo address.

Once you are subscribed, you may obtain a reference sheet of commands for the listserver by sending a message to the Secretary address with no subject line and one line in the body of the message: get hounds-L commands. Alternatively, you can review the command reference list here. Among other things, the reference list will tell you how to change your mode of message delivery, how to obtain a listing of the current subscribers, and how to unsubscribe from the list.

Editor: This is the address to which you send material which is to be sent out to all subscribers to the list. For the Hounds of the Internet this is hounds-L @ This is the address to which you send messages to contribute to the ongoing Sherlockian discussions. Your message, sent to the Editor address, will then be relayed to all the other members of the mailing list. This is not the address to which to send a message to unsubscribe, or reconfigure for nodigest format, or to postpone messages.

If you are on the internet and are a fan of the Master, give us a try (you can always unsubscribe later.) Hope to see you over in the Hounds!

History of the Hounds, by Les Moskowitz

The Hounds of the Internet mailing list (HOUNDS-L) has been in existence since 1992. The group is a spin-off from an older one (DOROTHYL), a mailing list which covers mysteries in general, and which began in 1991. One of the members of that list, Alan Block, discovered that there were many Holmes fans there, so he posted a message to that group and started the Hounds. To the best that Alan can recall, initially there were six members, two of whom, Scott Crom and Joe Coppola are still active.

The Hounds also owe the idea of noms to the original DOROTHYL mailing list. That list allows members to choose a favorite character or author of mysteries as a "nom," or nickname, and the idea of Hounds choosing a Sherlockian reference has been carried over to this group.

It is not clear exactly when the first Hounds message was sent, but on August 18, 1992 at 7:55 AM, Alan posted a message announcing that The Hounds of the Internet was now a recognized scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars.

Shortly after, in an attempt to increase conversation and stimulate activity on the mailing list, Joe Coppola introduced the idea of discussing one Holmes adventure each week. That practice has continued. Joe announced the story to be discussed during the following week until May, 1998. Since then, Steve Clarkson, Rosemary Michaud, Brad Keefauver, Don Dillistone and Alex Braun have each announced the story of the week, in addition to posting the opening series of questions and commentary about each adventure.

Alan Block served as the list's first list owner from 1992-1996; Succeeding list owners have been Les Moskowitz (1996-2000), Steve Clarkson (2000-2004), and Alex Braun (2004-present).

Initially, the list was run manually by Alan, but as the membership grew, that process became unwieldy and at 2 PM CST, February 15, 1994, the list name was changed to HOUNDS-L and the mailing was handled by an automated list server as the address became HOUNDS-L@BELOIT.EDU instead of BSI@BELOIT.EDU. The list has been moved twice since then. On November 28, 1994, our address changed to HOUNDS-L@GITVM1.GATECH.EDU, where it stayed until March 22, 1995, when it moved to our present home at Kent State University. Actually, a change in computer configuration at Kent State created a change in list address on March 15, 1996, when the address was changed from HOUNDS-L@KENTVM.KENT.EDU to HOUNDS-L@LISTSERV.KENT.EDU.


  • Hounds listing on the Sherlockian Who's Who
  • The 60 Stories — an Introduction (from past Hounds discussions)
  • Hounds Gallery
  • The View Halloa, by Rosemary Michaud
  • Sherlockian societies
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    Copyright © Chris Redmond 2008