Dacha near Kivach Waterfall. Suna River


This 1916 photograph shows a dacha (or hotel) at the Kivach Waterfall on the Suna River, located in the Kondopoga region of Karelia. The wooden building, with a corner pavilion, is set within of a forest of birch, pine, and other conifers. In the background is a wooden bridge. Because of the multiple exposures necessary to create this photograph, the water appears as a boiling white mass. 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. This support was renewed during World War I, and in 1916 Prokudin-Gorskii photographed work on the Murmansk Railroad, which was built between 1914 and 1917 to connect Petrograd (Saint Petersburg) to the ice-free port of Murmansk. During his work on this project he also photographed nearby natural wonders, such as the Kivach Waterfall. In 1931 the area around the waterfall became one of the earliest nature preserves in the Soviet Union.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Дача около водопада Кивач. [Река Суна]

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