Village of Naziia. Emperor Peter the Great Canal. Russian Empire


The Mariinsky Canal System (now known as the Volga-Baltic Waterway) links Saint Petersburg with the Volga River basin. Among the system’s components was the Old Ladoga Canal, formerly known as the Emperor Peter I Canal, which followed the southern shore of Lake Ladoga and was intended to protect shipping from the sudden storms that frequently arose over the lake. By the late 19th century this canal had silted up and was replaced with a parallel New Ladoga Canal. This 1901 photograph shows the village of Naziia, located where the short Naziia River flows into the canal (identified in the original caption as the Emperor Peter I Canal). Beyond the ramshackle wooden houses on the left are stacks of timber waiting to be floated, and a large barge. Because the marshy land was unsuited for crops, timber was an economic mainstay of this region. 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 parts of the empire.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Деревня Назия. Канал Императора Петра I. [Российская империя]

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 23, 2016