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Embedding library resources in Canvas: Articles, Databases, and More

Linking to Library Resources (articles, databases, and more)

You can link directly to specific library resources within the pages you create in Canvas. This is ideal when you would like all students to read a particular article or watch a video from a database. While the detailed steps are listed below, you are always welcome to visit with your campus librarians for assistance with this. We are always willing to help!

Step 1: Locate the resource students need to access

  • Using the library databases, locate the specific item that you would like to create a permanent link to.


Step 2: Locate and copy the persistent link (or PURL) Find the stable link for the item.

  • This should be located somewhere on the page – it may be called persistent link, stable link, or article link. **This is typically NOT the URL that appears in the browser’s address bar.


Article PURL example


Identifying the permalink for an article from Ebsco


Step 3: Insert a link to this item in your Canvas course:

  • Open the page, quiz, or discussion where you would like to insert the link to the library resource.
  • Highlight the text that will serve as the link, then click on the link icon and select “External Links”.
  • Then enter the URL from the article and a description of the article within the box.
  • Click on Embed.

Creating external link in Canvas Rich Text Editor 

Insert link url and link descriptor dialog box


When students access this page in your course, they will be able to access the article by clicking on the hyperlink. They will not have to log in to the library!!

Canvas page showing a correctly embedded article with link