Visual Resources Centre

The Visual Resources Centre (VRC) houses a community study space, meeting spaces and over half a million visual materials, including a collection of 10,000 films, covering all areas of art history, architectural history and visual art.

With the recent addition of the film collection, the VRC has total holdings of over 450,000 35mm photographic slides, videos, films, DVDs and a growing database of 60,000 digital images, covering all areas of art history and visual art as represented by the curricula of the AHVA department and the film program.

As a vital teaching and research facility for our faculty and students, the VRC continues to extend its resources and services to the university communities through collaborative projects in the areas of e-learning and distance education.

AHVA-VRC Image Database

In facilitating the teaching needs of faculty and learning needs of students, the AHVA-VRC Image Database was implemented specifically to digitize visual materials of art history courses. The visual contents are regularly updated to reflect current teaching needs and research interests. In addition, 13,000 images from 21 art history courses with complementary indices are temporarily stored and accessible to students online during examination times for studying purposes.  This innovative application of electronic media was begun as a departmental initiative but enhanced further by two years of Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) funding under the Faculty of Arts.  Three indices (artists, architects, and manuscripts, respectively) have been compiled and updated regularly as an effective reference for searching and selecting relevant images.

The AHVA-VRC Image Database is affiliated with the Arts Coordinated Image Repository called Ferret. A campus-wide login (CWL) is required to access this versatile storage and retrieval system with an effective searching mechanism. This dynamic joint project with Arts ISIT currently focuses on 26,000 slides of visual imagery and cultural representations of the POST 1945 category.  In August 2006, the VRC was invited by the Institute of Asian Research (IAR) to oversee the launching of the Asian Urban Lab and to undertake the entire project of digitizing a collection of 30,000 slides from their teaching faculty. So far, 10,546 images scanned in high-resolution TIFF files and JPEG files have been uploaded to the IAR server.


The Visual Resources Centre offers a number of services to all faculty, staff, and students. These include:

AV or computer troubleshooting
Copyright assistance
Digital exhibit support (e.g. CollectionBuilder, Omeka)
Drop-in writing clinics for undergraduates
GIS support (e.g. QGIS, Leaflet, PlanetTimemap)
Grant writing technical assistance
Image collection assistance (e.g. PIX database, PixPlot, slide access)
Image requisition
Other digital humanities support (e.g. Github, Scalar, Voyant, scripting)
Presentation assistance
Research materials management assistance (e.g. Zotero, Mendeley, DEVONThink)
Screening room booking
Zoom room booking

Feel free to request a consultation or contact us via our email



Please contact VRC staff via email,, or phone, 604-822-3802, or in person, Lasserre 206, for information on accessing the resources offered and booking various AV equipment for classroom use.

Visual Resources Centre

6333 Memorial Road, Lasserre Room 206
Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
(604) 822-3802

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