AHVA Visual Resources Centre

Photo courtesy of Dr. Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe

The Visual Resources Centre (VRC) within the Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory (AHVA) at UBC maintains a combined collection of visual materials in analogue and digital formats to support the teaching, learning, and research of Art History, Visual Art, Critical & Curatorial Studies, and Film Studies. 

With a dynamic database of 50,600+ digital images and 560,000+ items of 35mm photographic slides, videos, films, laserdiscs, DVDs, and Blu-rays, the VRC is an expansive and enriching academic media centre. 


  • Image research/acquisition/production
  • Digital imaging
  • Digitization standards
  • Digital humanities and digital scholarship projects
  • Scanning equipment
  • Descriptive metadata
  • Instruction/tutorials 
  • Presentation assistance  
  • Desktop/laptop computer usage 
  • Seminar/screening room (by appointment)
  • AV equipment/set up

For inquiring about one of these services, please view our contact information. 


To maintain a dedicated image database that reflects current teaching needs and research interests of AHVA, the open-source program Omeka was implemented in June 2015 to supplant the Quest Image Gallery (MDID2). In early 2020, all VRC digital data were successfully migrated to Arts Digital Collections (WordPress) maintained by Arts ISIT for storage and access.

Digitized visual materials are regularly updated and accessible in an intranet environment. The University Data Centre, overseen by Arts ISIT, provides long-term storage needs for all VRC digital assets in a secure environment. 


Acquisition for and cataloguing of the digital image collections are focused on materials that directly support instruction and research within AHVA, Critical & Curatorial Studies, and Film Studies, and that further enhance the digital collections at UBC. 

Acquisition Process

For teaching, learning, and presentation purposes, VRC staff provides technical support and general art reference in conjunction with Arts ISIT and the Music, Art & Architecture Library.

Complying with UBC Copyright Guidelines and Fair Dealing in Practice, VRC staff processes each request by assessing the amount of work and time required to complete each task on time.

AHVA-VRC does not have centralized departmental procedures in place to obtain permissions to make Copies of Published Works. Individual researchers and teachers are responsible for obtaining copyright permissions as required, either through direct contact with the copyright holders or via a course package service offered by the UBC Bookstore, which in turn arranges for the appropriate permissions in accordance with the Copyright Agreement and Practice.

For inquiring about acquisition of our collections, please view our contact information.  

Non-departmental Faculty & Students

As a vital teaching and research facility of visual culture, the VRC continues to extend its resources and services to the university community and affiliated institutions through collaborative projects, including special requests funded by outside sources. 

Image requests from non-departmental faculty and students are treated on a case-by-case basis, and will be prioritized behind departmental requests with a nominal fee for scanning and documentation.

Slide & Film Projectors 

With the predominant use of digital technology and lack of film supplies and processing, the VRC no longer supports slide acquisition. Reflecting the strengths of the academic programs and history of AHVA, the circulating collection of slides holds special research potential and historic value. Slide and film projectors are available for demonstrations, classroom use, art projects, and exhibitions.

For inquiring about acquisition of our collections, please view our contact information. 



Frederic Lasserre Building (Room 206), 6333 Memorial Road


Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.


604 822 3802




Yasmin Amaratunga, CuratorĀ of Collections

Brandon Leung, Curatorial AssistantĀ 

Dmitri Lennikov, Film Coordinator 

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