Short Story Locator

Short Story Locator Guide

  1. Do a keyword search in the LAPL CATALOG for the story title and the author's last name.
    • In the library catalog, short story collections and anthologies are often (but not always) given contents notes listing the authors and titles. They are NOT given complete author title analytics like play collections, so you must use a keyword search rather than a title browse search.
    • NOTE: Some older contents notes include only the first initials of authors' first names, so it's better to use just the last name, unless it's a very common one.
    • As with any keyword search, BEWARE of "false drops"; make sure the collection actually includes the story you want, rather than other stories with the same keywords in their titles.
    • This is an in-house index to short story collections owned by LAPL which have been cataloged without contents notes. The online portion of the index dates back to the mid-1980s, and there is a card file (see below) for older collections.
    • NOTE: Bear in mind, though, that older stories are often included in new anthologies, so it's a good idea to check this index for any short story you don't find with a keyword search in the catalog.
  3. If your short story is in public domain and written by a major author such as Hawthorne, Poe, or Twain, there's a good chance you can find the full text in an ONLINE TEXTS WEBSITE.
    • LIT FINDER, listed under RESEARCH & HOMEWORK on LAPL Home Page, provides full-text access to thousands of public domain short stories, as well as a smaller number of more recent stories.
    • There are links to several Online Texts websites, including Bartleby and Project Gutenberg on LAPL's list of Literature Web Links.
  4. Call the LITERATURE/FICTION DEPARTMENT at (213) 228-7345, and we will be glad to check:
    • Our card file of short stories in collections (searchable only by title).
    • The older print volumes of the Wilson Short Story Index
    • Author bibliographies
    • Print indexes of mystery, science fiction, and horror stories.