The exhibition case files include records relating to every aspect of planning and staging an exhibition. Exhibitions held in the early years of the Gallery's history (1929-1960s) have generated limited paperwork. In most cases this has been organised into a single file titled 'Proposal and planning '.
Exhibitions held in later years have produced a great deal of information. The records have been divided as follows:
1. Proposal and planning - including correspondence with internal and external curators; contracts; picture lists; panel texts and captions; and other interpretive material
2. Lenders - including correspondence with lenders; loan agreements; conservation information and condition reports
3. Financial Management - including high level budget information; sponsorship details; post exhibition evaluation reports
4. Design and Graphics - including plans; layout; colour schemes; correspondence with designers; contractors etc.
5. Education Events - including workshop, conference, study day etc. related material
6. Publicity Events and Leaflets - includes leaflets; private and press view cards; flyers; event listings; and other material relating to launches; unveilings; dinners etc.
7. Visitor information - includes visitor figures and comments/feedback
8. Tour - includes all information relating to touring exhibitions
The exhibition records also include installation shots: images taken of the exhibition in situ (ie. images of how the exhibition looked/the works on display; rather than images of the individual works themselves). The installation shots include slides, negatives, photographs, contact sheets, black and white and colour prints showing mainly interior installation shots of exhibitions held at the National Portrait Gallery. Most relate to exhibitions held in the Gallery's main buildings at Charing Cross. However, a small selection relate to exhibitions shown at Carlton House Terrace (one of the Gallery's alternative sites during the 1970s - 1980s): these files are marked CHT. The installation shots start in earnest from 1973, only two files exist before this date: these relate to the South African War Artists exhibition in 1943 and the Beaton exhibition in 1968-69.
Exhibitions also typically generate the following published/printed material which have been managed and catalogued as the following three separate record series: posters; press-cuttings; Exhibition catalogues.