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Course Reserves in Canvas

Please note: this page is no longer being updated by Teaching & Learning Services. For the most up-to-date resources, please visit our Research Help page or Resources for Undergraduates page


What are Course Reserves?

Course reserve materials are readings or media which a professor has asked the Libraries to make available for a limited time in support of a particular university course.  These items are:

  • Books, book chapters, journal articles, slides, photographs, audio, or video recordings from a campus library or from a professor's personal collection.  For more information on video reserves, see the Video Reserves in Canvas guide.
  • Physically held at a campus library, or digitized and uploaded to the web.  Items are listed and/or accessible through a course space in ELMS (Canvas).  This is done in order to make the items available to many students at once.
  • Made available for the duration of a course (usually one semester).  At the conclusion of the course they are removed.  Physical items are returned to the professor or to the Libraries' collection.

How to Access Course Reserves through Canvas:



  • Login with your Directory ID and password.
  • Click on the appropriate course name listed in the drop-down menu under the Courses link at the top of the page.



  • Click on Modules (left-side column)Course reserves will appear in one of the modules.




Retrieving Course Reserve materials:


  •  Click on the title of a specific reading or book title:



  • Books placed on Course Reserve will indicate the campus library (e.g., McKeldin Library) and call number (e.g., Z676.C885 2005).
  • Click Availability to learn the status of the item (e.g., McKeldin Two Hour Loan).




Need more information? Need help?


  • Contact the Libraries' Access Services department at :
  • If you cannot access your course in ELMS (Canvas), please contact your professor to make sure the course has been published.  If you can access the course, but cannot access Course Reserves, please contact a library staff member by email or phone: 301-405-9046 .

You can also contact us if you do not see an expected reserve item, or have trouble using Course Reserves.