In architectural design education, timely referencing visual materials is important for stimulating studentsi imaginations and design activities. In a lecture or design studio, teaching staff generally present various materials to students, such as photographs of cityscapes and architecture, environmental design handbooks, sketches drawn by famous architects or past works from the design studio. Most laboratories are filled with reference materials such as numerous photographic papers, books, drawing papers or colour slides. Because of the spread of digital cameras or scanners, the storage space required for reference materials has recently begun to decrease. However, the hard drives on the PCs used by each member of the teaching staff have generally been filled with huge amounts of image data files instead. With the increase in the volume of image data, handling such huge amounts of image data has generated the following problems.