Multiple preloading query

Just a quick query about how Flash handles the preolading of multiple external images. I’m not after code examples, because I know there are an abundance of them around, but I need to know how Flash is able to store the images. Do they all have to be loaded onto the stage, or can they be effectively loaded into the library for dynamic creation at a later moment?

For example, I’m creating a very basic Flash gallery which loads a series of jpegs, using paths from an XML file. The way I’m doing it is to drop the image paths into an array, and create an empty movie clip for each jpeg, into which they are loaded. I then set the visibility of all but the first containers to false. Am I right in thinking that if I was able to preload the jpegs without instantiating them, I wouldn’t have to create individual containers, and could just attach them dynamically when required?

I know that in AS3, display objects can be added to the display stack without actually creating instances of them (with addChild). This is the sort of thing I’m hoping to be able to do.

Hope this is all clear, and that my grasp of the way Flash loads and stores external images is sound. If not, I’m ready to stand corrected!