Collection: Eileen Deste Collection

1960 - 1976
Collection containing Photographic material
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Eileen 'Dusty' Deste (1908-1986) was a professional photographer who recorded industrial dereliction and dying industrial processes often just prior to the sites being cleared and redeveloped in the 1960s and 1970s. The photography held by the Historic England Archive is uncommissioned material - they are photographs she took because the subjects interested her. The catalogued collection (circa 3400 negatives with associated prints and contact sheets) has been divided into a number of series. These include: DES01/01 Nelson and Colne: The industries and landscapes of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire - 767 negatives plus contact sheets DES01/02 Cornwall Monochrome: Focuses on the industry of Cornwall, particularly engine houses and mining remains –209 black & white negatives plus contact sheets DES01/03 Cornwall Colour: Focuses on the industry of Cornwall, particularly engine houses and mining remains – 57 colour negatives plus contact sheets DES01/04 The Potteries: The industries and landscapes of the Staffordshire Potteries including interior views of pottery works showing people and processes – 1075 negatives and contact sheets DES01/05 Tamar Valley: Primarily industrial sites on the Devon/Cornwall boundary – 167 negatives DES01/06 Yorkshire: Primarily industrial sites in North Yorkshire – 117 negatives and contact sheets DES01/09 Pyrex Factory, Sunderland: The Wear Flint and Glass Works (manufacturers of Pyrex in the UK) – 488 negatives and contact sheets DES01/12 MacMullens Brewery: McMullens Hertford Brewery plus exteriors of Baldock Street Maltings, Ware – 193 negatives DES01/13 Great Yarmouth: Herring processing at Great Yarmouth – 40 negatives DES01/14 Agriculture Monochrome: Haymaking – 56 black & white negatives DES01/15 Agriculture Colour: Haymaking and Ironbridge Gorge – 33 colour negatives DES01/16 Dungeness and Rochester: 51 negatives DES01/17 London: Battersea Power Station and the Post Office Tower – 15 negatives DES01/18 Nettlebed, Oxfordshire: Nettlebed brick kiln – 15 negatives DES01/19 Royal Brierley Crystal, Brierley Hill: Glassworks, Dudley – 11 negatives DES01/20 The Vyne and Brickworks: The Vyne, Hampshire (National Trust) and an unidentified brickworks – 33 negatives DES01/21 Warwickshire: Various Warwickshire scenes – 57 negatives DES01/22 Eileen ‘Dusty’ Deste Portraits: 12 negatives DES01/23 Prison Doors: External entrance doors – 12 colour transparencies Certain items within each series have not been digitized and catalogued. This may be because they are virtually indistinguishable from other items which have been digitized or due to the quality of the image. A decision was taken not to catalogue the majority of the Prison Door series (DES01/23). Only 12 colour transparencies have been catalogued from this large series of material. The collection also includes non-English material (including Wales and Ireland) which has not been catalogued.

Archival History

Purchased from the author Guy Arnold in December 2005.

1500+ prints, negatives and contact sheets housed in 12 boxes. There is also an unquantified colour componant. Poor documentation but much should be identifiable and many of the sites have been destroyed. The collection includes Deste's own notes on taking views of prisons as well as other patchy business or personal correspondence and cuttings.


This Collection is divided into 19 Child Series
This Collection contains the following materials:
Photograph (Negative): 5,205
Photograph (Print): 986


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People & Organisations

Photographer: Deste, Eileen