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Finding Quotations

This guide provides an extensive list of resources and step-by-step instructions for researching, identifying, and verifying quotations.


The Quotation Carousel, part of the Quotation Book Collection in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress. Photo by Library of Congress, 2019.

Finding Quotations is a guide to resources, strategies, and techniques for conducting expert research on quotations. Whether you're trying to identify the original source of a quotation, verify a quotation's author, or trace a quotation's transmission and evolution over time, this guide will provide you with the tools you need to become a crack quote sleuth.

Select a section of the guide to learn about specific types of quotation resources, tools, and search strategies you can use at home or in the library to research quotations. And remember, if you find yourself in a quotation quandary, you can always Ask a Librarian to receive expert assistance from reference librarians at the Library of Congress.

Researching Quotations in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress

There are more than 300 quotation dictionaries in a special "reference collection" in the Library of Congress' Main Reading Room available to registered onsite researchers. Reference librarians are nearby to assist patrons in finding additional quotation sources through the online catalog and through subscription databases.

For more information about how to conduct research at the Library of Congress, including how to become a registered reader and access the Main Reading Room, see the "Using the Library of Congress" section of this guide.