Skip to Main Content

Lost Titles, Forgotten Rhymes: A Guide to Finding Novels, Stories, and Poems

Finding Short Stories

Shari Weisberg, artist. A trip around the world at story hour time Story hour club--W.P.A library center. [between 1936 and 1940]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Locating short stories is often more difficult than locating novels because there are fewer bibliographic tools that catalog and index stories. In addition, print indexes do not typically provide subject or plot access to short stories, which is essential if only the plot is known

In the "Novels" section of this research guide, you can consult community-based resources such as message boards and listservs to locate short stories (as well as novels). General web searches may also turn up a reference to a story or its complete text.

Short story indexes can be identified by searching the Library of Congress Online Catalog under subject headings such as:

Some print indexes and subscription databases to which your library subscribes may also prove helpful in locating short stories. These tools allow users to limit searches by categories such as genre, subject, first and last line, and setting, and to search for keywords in plot summaries and across the full text of digitized stories.

If you still need help finding a novel, story, or poem, you can contact Library of Congress literature specialists through the Ask a Librarian link found in the left navigation column on this page.

Subscription Resources for Finding Short Stories

The subscription resources marked with a padlock  are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress.  If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.

Indexes for Finding Short Stories

If you are seeking a short story for which you already know the title, you may wish to review the the following resources: