Visual Resources collections encompass more than 182,000 slides of works of art in Canada, North America, and western Europe, with special emphasis on National Gallery of Canada collections and exhibitions. The Library retains historical installation slides of the Gallery's permanent collection and exhibitions, as well as slides which document the Gallery buildings, previous and present.
Since 2002 works of art in the permanent collection have been documented with digital images, available through the Gallery’s website via Cybermuse. The Library and Archives retains digital images on CD-ROM of National Gallery exhibition installations and items from the Library and Archives that have been photographed or scanned, as well as selected digital image files produced or obtained by the National Gallery that are not related to the permanent collection.
The Library holds nearly 360,000 research photographs that document the collections and activities of the National Gallery as well as Canadian and non-Canadian works of art held in North American and European collections. The collection contains outstanding special resources, including the Gernsheim Corpus Photographicum (complete to 1984), the Decimal Index of the Art of the Low Countries, the Fotografie della societa anonima D. Anderson and the photographs that accompany The Illustrated Bartsch. An important group of original and, in some cases, rare photographs is included in the Library's collection. Many of these document the history of the National Gallery of Canada, its buildings, exhibitions, personalities and special events.
Among its extensive visual collections in microform, the Library's holdings include The Early Alinari Photographic Archive of Art and Architecture in Italy; Architecture and Monuments in France; Architecture and Early Photography in France; The Conway Library; The Witt Library; and the Marburger Index: Bilddokumentation zur Kunst in Deutschland.