School in the Village of Perguba
The Murmansk Railroad was built by the Russian government during World War I to connect Petrograd (Saint Petersburg) to the ice-free port of Romanov-on-Murman (now Murmansk). Construction lasted from 1914 to the spring of 1917 when the line was completed. Shown here is the basic school at the village of Kappeselga (stated on the sign at left). Such schools were supported by the zemstvo, a form of local self-government established in Russia in 1864 as part of the “Great Reforms” of Alexander II. This school is a one-story log building of standard design, with ample window light and heating by brick stoves in each room. (Several chimneys protrude from the iron roof.) Saplings of birch and pine adorn the front of the building, which is enclosed by a picket fence. A side track is visible in the foreground. The photograph is taken from the main railroad track. The photographer often misidentifies a number of localities in the Kondopoga region as Kannesemga (Kappeselga), but in this case he does the opposite—identifying Kappeselga as the village of Perguba. 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 scenes along the new railroad.
Title in Original Language
Школа в деревне Пергуба
Type of Item
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: May 24, 2017