Group. (Myself with Two Other, Murman)


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. This time-exposure photograph was taken at a railroad construction site and shows the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii smoking a cigarette. He is seated, with a hunting gun strapped over his shoulder and a dog at his side. Seated next to him are two Murmansk Railroad gendarmes from the northern Caucasus. Both guards wear high fur hats typical of the region, and the guard on the left has a Caucasian dagger. His shoulder boards display three stripes (equivalent to the rank of sergeant) and the abbreviation for Murmansk Railroad. The caption does not identify the place where this image was taken, but it is perhaps in the area of Maiguba (Republic of Karelia). A lake is visible beyond the pine forest. The image is by 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 his 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

Группа. (Я с двумя, Мурман)

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