At a glance

Bowes Art & Architecture Library

Using the Visual Resources Center

The Visual Resources Center (VRC) provides digital images for teaching and research at Stanford University. The VRC also houses a slide collection that circulates only to members of the Department of Art & Art History. However, all members of the Stanford community may access the VRC's digital collection via the ImageBase.

Contact us at or (650) 723-3320.


Image digitization

The VRC creates digital images for teaching and research purposes for Stanford faculty and students via copystand photography or slide scanning. The VRC also provides course support by digitizing large numbers of images in advance for upcoming courses. Art Department courses receive first priority. If you would like to find out if we can support your course, please contact VRC staff for more information.

Requesting course study sets

Each quarter, the VRC places images online for students to use while studying for exams for select courses. These study sets are organized by department in our ImageBase. Please contact VRC staff for more information.

Using our slide collection

The VRC’s 35mm collection of 258,000 slides is non-circulating. However, faculty and students are welcome to select slides for scanning. Please note that an appointment is required.

Using the ImageBase

Access our digital ImageBase here, from the quick link on the Art & Architecture Library’s homepage, or via SearchWorks. The ImageBase, which consists of approximately 90,000 digital images created by the VRC and 34,000 digital images from the Archivision collection, is accessible only to Stanford faculty and students. Our collection strengths include American art, Chinese art, architecture, and photography. You must have a valid SUNet ID to log in to the ImageBase.

Please note that the Visual Resource Center's ImageBase is for educational and scholarly use only. For more information, please see Stanford's Copyright & Fair Use site and the Provost's Copyright Reminder (includes link to full PDF file). If you have questions about image use, please contact the VRC.

To search the ImageBase, use the quick search box in the top left corner.

You can download directly from the results page by clicking on the green arrows...

...or you can click on the titles to find more information about the images and then download from there.