Frequently Asked Questions
How do I search for a short story?
Short stories can be challenging to find since they are published within other works (books, anthologies, literary magazines, etc.). Generally, you need to find the work they were published in.
Here are a variety of techniques:
- Search LitFINDER. LitFINDER gives full text or a citation to a source for 125,000+ poems, 5000+ stories, 2800+ essays, 1000+ plays, and 1800+ speeches.
- Search MNCAT, the library catalog. Some but not all of our books have searchable contents information.
- Search Google for the title in quotes. This may help find the item(s) the story is published in. Then you can search for that item in the library catalog.
- Use the Short Story Index. The standard tool for finding short stories is called Short Story Index. It's located in the Wilson Library reference PN3353 .C67x. The first volume was published in 1953 but it covers stories published long before that year. The tool is very easy to use: Look under the author's last name, and each story s/he had reprinted will be listed, along with the name of the book it's in. Stories are also listed alphabetically by title. You can then go to MNCAT, the library catlog, and search for the name of the anthology / journal that carries the story.
- Search WorldCat, since another library may have analyzed a work to that level even if we (or the Library of Congress) did not.
- A story may have originally appeared in a magazine. No one tool indexes all, but a few of the more useful include: