Herbert Cooper was born in Hammersmith, London, and came to Strabane, County Tyrone, where he bought the photographic business of J. A. Burrows in 1913. The Cooper Collection, which was given to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland by his son, Mr H. D. H. Cooper, is the largest single collection of photographs in Ireland. Among the 200,000 plate glass negatives, some of J. A. Burrows's work is included.