Girl with Strawberries. Russian Empire


The Mariinsky Canal System (now known as the Volga-Baltic Waterway) links Saint Petersburg with the Volga River basin. A major component of the waterway is the Sheksna River, a tributary of the Volga. At the village of Topornia (Vologda Oblast) the Sheksna is met by another canal system that branches northeast to the Northern Dvina River. The initial link of the waterway—named in the 19th century after Duke Alexander of Württemberg, who supervised its construction in 1825–28—is the seven-kilometer long Topornia Canal, connecting the Sheksna with Sivers Lake at the town of Kirillov. This 1909 photograph of a young woman with a plate of wild strawberries against the background of log houses is one of a series of pictures of peasant girls taken by this photographer in the village of Topornia, 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.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Девушка с земляникой. [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