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Visual Resources Centre

Manchester School of Art


Art and Design Slide Collection

Comprising approximately 300,000 images, this is one of the largest art and design slide collections in the UK Higher Education sector. Its extensive coverage of art and design subjects includes architecture, fine art, photography, film, fashion, textiles, industrial design, graphic design, interior design and town planning/urban design. There are also many images illustrating aspects of popular culture and social history.

The collection was begun in the mid 1960s by the Manchester College of Art and Design and, within the parameters of copyright regulations and related licensing schemes, it has grown in response to the changing needs of students and staff. A significant proportion of the collection comprises slides that have been created as a result of original photography undertaken by staff. These latter slides are being selectively digitized with the aim of creating an electronic image resource that will be made available online.

Slides in the collection may be borrowed by students and staff, either for use in lectures and seminar presentations, or for visual research purposes. The collection is an extremely rich resource for visual research in art and design, supporting student assignments and other project-based learning activities.

You can see a sample of these images by visiting our Flickr photostream at

Design Council Slide Collection

Comprising the contents of the Design Council's former slide library, this collection was originally housed at the Design Centre in London. Following the closure of the Design Centre the collection was acquired by the Faculty of Art and Design in 1995, and is now managed by the Visual Resources Centre. More information.

Lantern Slide Collection

The Centre holds a small collection of 3 inch glass lantern slides that were used as visual aids by the Faculty of Art and Design's predecessor institutions before the adoption of 35mm slides in the 1960s. The collection comprises approximately 2500 items, with subjects covering architecture, painting, sculpture, interior design, textiles, ceramics and metalwork. The inclusion of some examples of works produced by students of the Manchester Municipal School of Art in the early- to mid-twentieth century enhances the material's value as a resource for the history of art and design education.

Video Collection

The Centre's video collection currently contains over 1700 titles, with material in DVD and VHS tape formats. The majority of titles are feature films, but there are also many documentaries and television programmes that have been recorded under the terms of the Educational Recording Agency (ERA) licence.