Finding Fiction

While the University Library does not have all of fiction in a separate section as public libraries do, we do have an extensive fiction collection.  Although the fiction is purchased to support the literary curricula of the University, there are many titles that would be of interest to casual readers as well as to students and researchers. 

The goal of this handout is to provide information on where to browse the stacks for fiction and also to provide information on how to use Minerva, the Libraries’ online catalog, to find novels and collections of short stories.

Browsing the Stacks

Literature can be found in the ‘P’ section of the library.  If you want to browse the stacks this is a good area to check out.  The following lists the specific breakdown of some popular categories within the Literature subject heading.

Classical PA   
General, Drama, Movies PN
Spanish, French, Italian PQ
English PR
American PS
Germanic PT

Juvenile literature can be found in the ‘Y-YE’ section of the library.  Items with juvenile call numbers are not necessarily children’s books, but rather adult material suitable for young people as well.  This section is located in the basement, behind the Interactive Media Center.

Searching in Minerva - The University Libraries' Catalog

If you know the title or author of a specific book you are looking for, search using that information.  Be sure to select the correct Search Type. You can also search by subject headings.  Be sure to select “Subject begins with …” under the Search Type menu.






Search Title



subject heading

Subject Headings

There are a variety of headings to search depending on your specific interests.  In Minerva the subject headings are specific pre-determined words or phrases.  You can’t just use any search terms like you would in Google or; Some common genres and related subject headings follow.

Try using the following search terms to find books in the genre you like.

Horror tales
Ghost stories
Occult fiction
Vampires fiction
Witchcraft fiction

Mystery Fiction
Suspense Fiction
Detective and mystery stories
Fifty classics of crime fiction
(search by ‘series heading’)
Murderers Fiction
Serial Murders Fiction
Missing Persons Fiction

Murder Fiction
Revenge Fiction


Adventure Fiction
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction
Psychological Fiction

Science Fiction
Science Fiction, American
Fantasy Fiction
Fantasy Fiction, American

War Stories
War Stories American

Historical Fiction
Biographical Fiction

Western stories


Love Stories
Man Woman Relationships Fiction

Domestic Fiction
Parent and Child Fiction

Short Stories American

Other Subjects
Young Women Fiction
Young Men Fiction
African Americans Fiction
Fantastic Fiction
Sports Stories
Political Fiction
Authors Fiction


Find One Book, and Then Find More

If you know we have one book that you like it is easy to find similar books in Minerva. Here’ an example.

You just read Ladies of the Goldfield Stock Exchange by Sybil Downing and it was great! Now you’d like to find other books like it.

Step 1
  • Find the book in Minerva by searching on either title or author.
Step 2
  • Once you’ve found it click on "View Full Record"
similar selection
subject heading selection
Step 3
  • Look at the other subject headings associated with this book.
Step 4
  • Click on these subject headings. They will lead you to other books we have under the same subject headings and to new books you might like to read!

More Searching Tips and Tricks

The "Keyword Searching" option on the Advanced Search screen sometimes provides more flexible search options than those described above.

Here’s how:

  • Go to Advanced Search in Minerva.
  • Change the "Field to Search" to Subject.
  • Enter a topic of interest in the "Search For" field.
  • Then do the same in the next line and enter the word FICTION.
keyword selection

Are you looking
for books in a particular language?
  In the Advanced Search option, enter a keyword search then select the language from the menu on the right.

For example you could search for: ACTORS and FICTION,

or WORLD WAR and FICTION, etc.

More Ways to Find Fiction

This guide is not comprehensive.  If you are looking for fiction in other categories, you might try looking at literary criticism specific to the genre or time period to identify authors that might interest you.  You might also want to look at the following guide to good books, both fiction and non-fiction:  The Reader’s Adviser [Reference Z 1035 B7], fiction is contained in volumes 1 and 2).

Book Purchase Recommendations

To recommend a book for purchase by the University Libraries, use the book purchase suggestion form at

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