Transit Farmstead in Nadezhdinsk Settlement. Golodnaia Steppe


This photograph depicts a family farmstead in Nadezhdinsk, a Russian settlement in present-day eastern Kazakhstan. As seen in the picture and as suggested by its name, Golodnaia (or Hungry) Steppe, this region was not particularly suitable for farming. Nonetheless, between 1906 and 1912, more than half a million Russian peasants moved to Kazakhstan, prompted by the agrarian reforms introduced by Petr Stolypin, chairman of the council of ministers of the Russian government. Stolypin’s reforms were in part aimed at creating a class of market-oriented, smallholding landowners. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s 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. Prokudin-Gorskii was interested in recently acquired territories of the Russian Empire such as Turkestan (present-day Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), which he visited on a number of occasions, including two trips in 1911. He documented the traditional architecture and culture of the region as well as economic development projects sponsored by the Russian authorities.

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Голодная степь. Переселенческий хутор в Надеждинском поселке.

Type of Item

Physical Description

Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)


  • 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

Last updated: September 30, 2016