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Short Stories & Criticism

Find a Short Story Online

Many short stories, particularly those published before 1923 and therefore in the public domain (not copyrighted), are accessible on the web. Use your favorite search engine to look for titles, phrases, or authors.

Here are a few sites that are especially recommended:

Find a Short Story in the Cal Poly Humboldt Library

Try keyword searching in the Cal Poly Humboldt Library catalog to find your story. Search for the title in quotation marks, but leave off the initial article (a, an, or the in any language):

"celebrated jumping frog of calaveras county"
"good man is hard to find"
"autopista del sur"

If the title isn't very distinctive, add the author's name to your search:

porter "garden party"

Search in the HSU Library Catalog for collections of stories by the author of the one you are looking for. "Complete" collections will have your story in them; otherwise, if there is no table of contents in the catalog record or the Google books link, check the volume to see if your story is there.

Check indexes to short stories, in the Reference collection, to find anthologies that have a copy of your story. They list stories by author, title, and sometimes by subject, indicating the anthologies or periodical issues where each story appears. (Most index volumes cover a specific time period, so it helps to know the date of your story.) When you have found the name of a collection or periodical containing your story, check the HSU Library Catalog to see if we have it. Or, look in the index volume for the list of publications indexed; we often note call numbers there.

Some of the short story indexes in our Reference collection are listed below. Use Advanced Search in the HSU Library Catalog, and search by subject for stories indexes NOT criticism for find more.

  • The Afro-American Short Story: a comprehensive, annotated index with selected commentaries (ref PS 153 N5 Y35)
  • Cuento Mexicano Index (ref PQ 7197 H64)
  • Index to Best American short stories and O. Henry prize stories (ref PS374.S5 W457)
  • Short Story Index (ref PN 3353 C662 & suppl.)