External Sources

desLibris now provides a portal to “External Sources,” which include public databases like Internet Archive and Open Library as well as subject databases which may be of use to specialized audiences.

External Sources are searched and results are displayed within the desLibris search interface. When individual titles are selected, the external source opens in a new browser tab.

The External Sources panel is available only to authenticated users so it does not appear on the public site. Where the function has been activated by the Library Administrator, logged-in users will see the External Sources panel on the Search page as shown below.


Internet Archive

A non-profit library of millions of books. The source is subdivided to llimit searches to the Canadian site or by language.


Open Library

A subset of Internet Archive, covering only books. Contains over 1 million ebook titles.



The free Canadian caselaw database from the Canadian Legal Information Institute.

Sources 1 and 2 are pre-configured (“built in”) to desLibris; additional sources will be added in future. These will include libraries which publish their catalogues in OPDS form.

Source 3 is an example of a “Custom Search” which may be configured by a Library Administrator on the ”External Sources” tab of the Administration panel.

An example using Google is provided as a guide. Custom searches may be configured in both English and French where the database offers the choice.

How does it work?

When an External Source is selected (only one selection may be selected; they cannot be combined) any entry in the Search window will be applied against the Source selected, and results will be shown in desLibris.

When a Custom Search source is selected, an entry in the desLibris search window will be run in the Custom Source and the results displayed there (in a new tab.)

This function is useful when specific references are found in books which need to be researched in the External Source. In these cases, the user will cut and paste the reference into the desLibris search window and check the External Source to which the search should be applied. A click on the Search magnifier will open the results of the search in the External Source.

Copy reference (using the selection tool in the online reader)

Select Custom Source and paste reference

See results