The collection contains a range of prints and drawings by some of Australia's most significant artists, dating from colonial to contemporary periods. Drawing has always played a central role in the teaching or training of painters. It was often through their drawings that Australian artists such as George Lambert, Godfrey Miller, Rah Fizelle and John Passmore exerted their influence on younger artists. Along with these artists, the collection also represents influential artists that also worked as teachers in Newcastle throughout the years. These include Reg Russom, Robert Ward, John Montefiore, Garry Jones, Frank Celtlan, Trevor Weekes, Michael Bell and Claire Martin.
Likewise the Gallery holds an extensive print collection, including prints from the colonial era such as Richard Browne’s engravings, Walter Preston and Joseph Lycett. Strongly represented are works by J. H. Clark and John Skinner Prout. The collection contains many images by S. T. Gill and Eugène von Guérard representing picturesque views of colonial landscapes. The great strength of the collection is in twentieth-century and contemporary original artist’s prints. The collection includes important complete suites, series and folios by artists such as, Arthur Boyd, John Coburn, Imants Tillers, Jesse Traill, George Baldessin, Bea Maddock, Mike Parr, Margaret Preston, Thea Proctor, Jan Senbergs and Salvatore Zofrea.
Contemporary printmaking has been invigorated by new digital technology. Recent acquisitions have included new digital print formats along with more traditional printmaking forms. Recent acquisitions of Indigenous works on paper are a growing aspect of the Gallery collection.