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Mabel Colhoun Photographic Collection

Mabel was an avid photographer, documenting all aspects of her life from the 1930s to the 1990s. These photographs were mostly added to slides, and there are around 10,000 in the museum collection. In the collection you will find many images of rural life which are no more, as well as numerous archaeological features and buildings which has since disappeared. Over 3,000 images have been digitised by our volunteer Denise Henry over the past three years, and she is still digitising them regularly! Scroll down to find out more about Denise and her project. An early collection has also been digitised by our volunteer Giorgia D’Ambrosio in 2016. If you have any queries about the collection, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Fountain Street, 3 Feb 1963

Scenes from Derry~Londonderry

Harvesting near Carndonagh, 6/10/1962

Local Sites

Uncle Gordon with Egpyt Scene in Background

Mabel & Family



Portaleen, North Inishowen, 27/8/1950

Sketches & Paintings

Man with Donkey


Mabel and her Auntie at the Foot of the Pyramids of Gizajpg

Mabel the Explorer

Denise Henry: Mabel – A life behind the lens

Denise Henry is an Archaeologist and Museum Professional with a passion for digital storytelling. When carrying out archaeological survey work in her native Inishowen, Donegal, Denise encountered the research and work of Mabel Remington Colhoun.  Ultimately what began as an MA dissertation project, led to years’ worth of research. Keen to share the story of this trailblazing archaeologist, teacher and pioneer of early education, Denise has given several talks and published articles on Mabel’s unique life and work.

Having uncovered a collection of 35mm photographic slides in the Colhoun Archive in the Tower Museum, Denise has dedicated her time to digitise this collection. Each photograph documents the interests, encounters and adventures of Mabel from the late 1920s to the 1980s in Ireland, UK, Europe and the Middle East Slides that were once used by a small number of Mabel’s colleagues for research and naturalist talks, are now for the first time, available online to a global audience. An educator in every area of her life, it’s only fitting that Mabel’s work continues to highlight the importance of heritage and nature in the world we live in.