In 1913 Herbert F Cooper acquired the photographic business of J.A. Burroughs on Strabane’s Railway Street. From 1900 until 1913 Burrows, using the unwieldy equipment of the time captured the stern posed portraits of the people of the district, as well as postcard views from the surrounding areas. When Cooper, already a veteran of commercial photography took over in 1913 he had access to much better equipment and so could therefore escape the confines of the studio and explore the people and everyday life of the district in much greater detail.
Studio portraits, street scenes, calamitous weather disasters, new technologies; all captured by Burroughs and Cooper on their glass plates. Some 200,000 of these glass plates now rest with The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, and of these some 2,500 have been digitised as part of an ongoing project.
The selection you see here just a small selection of images which have become almost iconic over the years, as well portraits of local people, whose identities have become lost over the decades but whose character is very much part of the image
The Cooper Collection is regarded as one of the finest pictorial records of life in provincial Ireland before the Second World War and the museums and heritage service of Derry City and Strabane District Council gratefully acknowledge the support of the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland. All have been reproduced with permission of the Deputy Keeper, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. If you have any queries about the collection, please do not hesitate to get in touch.