Cherepovets Harbor. Russian Empire


The Mariinsky Canal system (now known as the Volga-Baltic Waterway) links Saint Petersburg with the Volga River basin. When this photograph was taken, in 1909, a primary component of the waterway was the Sheksna River, which drained White Lake at its southeast corner and flowed west to the Volga. The Sheksna and Volga merged near the town of Rybinsk. (The course of the Sheksna is now largely hidden by vast reservoirs.) Cherepovets, the main town on the Sheksna, was first settled in the 14th century at the site where the Iagorba flows into the Sheksna. In 1777 it gained official status as a town. This view, misidentified in the caption, shows the Iagorba (foreground) as it enters the Sheksna. In the background is an unidentified white church (not extant). A wooden navigational marker is visible to the left of the church. At the far right are stacks of wooden crates on the bank. 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

Череповецкая гавань. [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