Petrozavodsk. General View of the Factory


Construction of a new railroad to the ice-free port of Murmansk lasted from 1914 to the spring of 1917, when it was connected to the capital, then called Petrograd. Among the towns in this northern area along the route was Petrozavodsk (“Peter’s factory”), founded in September 1703, just four months after Saint Petersburg. Tsar Peter I (the Great) needed an additional iron works to supply his military, and his associate Alexander Menshikov discovered an appropriate site where the Shuya River enters Lake Onega. The works were subsequently renamed the Alexandrovsky Factory in honor of Tsar Alexander I. In the middle distance of this general view is the domed Church of Saint Alexander Nevskii, built with donations from the factory. This church now serves as the main cathedral of Petrozavosk. In the foreground is the small Lososinka River. No longer competitive, the factory has been closed and the territory will be redeveloped. 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. Support for his work was renewed during the First World War, and in 1916 he was commissioned to photograph this new railroad project.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Петрозаводск. Общий вид завода

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