From 1909 to 1912, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) made several trips to the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, urban settings, and natural scenes. In the summer of 1910 Prokudin-Gorskii traveled along the Samara-Zlatoust Railway (built in 1885–92; now the Ufa-Chelyabinsk line). This view from Krasnaia (Red) Cliff shows the factory and town of Miniar (in present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast) along the Sim River. Miniar arose in 1771 adjacent to an iron-working factory at the confluence of the Sim and Miniar rivers. After delays caused in part by the Pugachev rebellion (1773–75), the factory became fully operational in 1784. The completion of the railroad in 1892 provided a stimulus to the factory, which was acquired by the Balashov family at the end of the 19th century. Seen on the left here is the neoclassical Church of the Presentation, completed in 1820. In the foreground is a cemetery and chapel (no longer extant). Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of his photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.
Note: Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographic work survives primarily in two forms: 1,901 black-and-white triple-frame glass plate negatives, made with color separation filters, which Prokudin-Gorskii used to make color prints and lantern slides; and 12 albums of sepia-tone prints, made from the glass negatives, which Prokudin-Gorskii compiled as a record of his travels and studies. The Library of Congress purchased the glass plate negatives and the albums from the Prokudin-Gorskii family in 1948. In 2004, the Library of Congress had digital color composites made from all the surviving glass negatives using a software algorithm to automatically align the color components. As with most historical photographs, title and subject identifications are corrected and enhanced through new research. Current information on the collection is at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.
Place: Europe; Russian Federation; Chelyabinsk Oblast; Minyar
Institution: Library of Congress
Physical description: Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)