Village of Lovas-Guba on the Inlet of Onega Lake
During World War I, the Russian government built a new strategic railroad to connect Saint Petersburg to the ice-free port of Romanov-on-Murman (now Murmansk). The line was completed in the spring of 1917, too late to have a major effect on Russia’s efforts in World War I, but the Murmansk Railroad was to prove immensely significant during World War II as a link for shipments of Lend-Lease aid from the United States to the Soviet Union. An important point on the rail line was the Medvezh’ia Gora (Bear Mountain) Station, built in 1916 and situated at the far northern tip of Lake Onega, 150 kilometers north of Petrozavodsk. Seen in this 1916 photograph is a pier built at a small natural harbor near the Medvezh’ia Gora Station (the caption identification is misleading). This picture has been marred by faulty alignment of the negative plates. 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.
Title in Original Language
Дер. Ловась-Губа на больш. губе Онежскаго озера
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