When the state purchased the Preus Fotomuseum in 1993-94, the museum's image collection formed the "foundation" of the National Photo Museum's collection. It was large and extensive, with an emphasis on international photo history and famous names. Since 1995, purchases have emphasized Norwegian photo history and camera-based contemporary art.
An important growth has been several of the photographers who built the Association of Free Photographers and the Stiftelsen Fotogalleriet, two photographers from Manité and more who are counted on Norway's growing art photography environment from 1970 to the breakthrough of postmodernism in the 2000s.
Professional photographic archives
In addition, some professional photography archives have been added, such as Studio Pan (1944-94) and All-Foto, Karl Johans gate 20, Oslo (1986). One of the most significant growth is the photo archive after Oslo Kamera Klubb (1921- c. 1980) with approx. 200 original exhibition photos and several photographers connected to OKK represented with their own collections.
The younger postmodern photographers is represented in the collection, in addition to some of the well-known German and American artists, such as Thomas Struth (1954-) and Cindy Sherman (1954-).
Small special collections have been built with photographs of, among other things, Norwegian performance and process art (1966-2009) and fashion photography (1950s - 2012).