Gong and Boards with Records of Visits to the Chapel in the Village of Petrovskoe. Russian Empire


The Mariinskii Canal system links Saint Petersburg with the Volga River basin. The first critical component of the system was a canal connecting the Vytegra River (flowing into Lake Onega toward Saint Petersburg) and the Kovzha River (flowing south into White Lake). In 1799 this segment was named the Mariinskii Canal, and over time it was rebuilt and improved. This photograph shows a memorial display at the chapel in the village of Petrovskoe, located on the canal in the Vytegra region (Vologda Oblast). The chapel, believed to have been built at the turn of the 19th century, was dedicated to Emperor Peter I, who is reputed to have visited the village in 1711. The display includes a bell-shaped bilo (a flat object of either wood or metal struck in the manner of a bell). Adjacent are plaques noting visits by “K.N.” (on May 20, 1844) and Count Peter Kleinmikhel (in 1845), who was entrusted in the mid 1840s with improving the Mariinskiii system. 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

Било и доски с надписями о посещениях Часовня в деревне Петровское. [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 http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.

Last updated: September 23, 2016