City of Ekaterinburg. General View of the Central Part


From 1909 to 1912, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) made several trips to the territory around the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations, factories, and urban scenes. The caption for this photograph mistakenly identifies this as a view of central Ekaterinburg (named Sverdlovsk 1924–91). In fact it is a view taken in 1909 of a workers’ settlement on the outskirts of the town of Ekaterinburg known as Verkh-Isetskii zavod (factory on the Upper Iset). The Upper Iset factory was established following the creation in 1725 of a large pond used for hydraulic power on the Upper Iset River and was one of the earliest settlements in the Ekaterinburg area. In the midst of the wooden houses, with their firewood stacks and vegetable gardens, is the Church of Saint Nicholas, completed in 1897. Its octagonal central form was crowned with a single dome, and a tall bell tower marked the west end. In this photograph, small figures are visible on the square in front of the church. The church was demolished in the 1930s. Prokudin-Gorskii 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.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

г. Екатеринбург. Общий вид центральной части

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 28, 2016