A series of posters, designed to promote Ireland as a tourist destination in the last century, have been made available for online viewing.

The collection, Country Life in Co Mayo, is gathered by the National Museum of Ireland and features colour posters that were displayed in Britain, the United States and Europe from 1908 onwards.

A number of the artworks contained in the "Come Back to Erin" exhibition were displayed at the Museum outside Castlebar some years ago.

The earliest posters were produced by British railway companies in the 1900s. These were typically detailed heavy works, with timetables and additional text.

After the war of independence, advertisers in Britain started using colour advertisements with greater frequency.

Some companies there asked well known artists to create images, with Paul Henry's poster scenes a particular example of the iconic images that were used in successive campaigns.

View of Connemara (1926) and Lough Derg (1927) became best sellers and brought great popular recognition for the artist.

The largest Irish railway company at the time, Great Southern Railways, also commissioned posters in the 1920s, several of renowned tourist locations, such as Glendalough, Killarney, Connemara and Killiney in Co Dublin.

The posters often depicted an idyllic image of the fledgling State, with picturesque coastlines, landscapes and buildings.

There was also a concerted effort to market Northern Ireland as a tourist destination.

The collection mainly covers the boom years of the colour posters from the 1920s onwards and shows how the advertising tactic went into decline from the mid 1960s, when colour photographs and television ads began to dominate.

The posters commissioned by the Irish Tourist Board, Bord Fáilte, airlines, ferry providers, CIE and other railway companies are available to view at museum.ie/country-life