Factory Settlement of the Verkh-Isetskii Factory. Ekaterinburg


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, urban settings, and natural scenes. The caption for this image mistakenly identifies the subject as the Verkh-Isetskii factory. It is actually a photograph taken in 1909 of central Ekaterinburg (named Sverdlovsk 1924–91), and it clearly shows the churches and bell towers of the town. On the outskirts of the town are houses typical of the region, built of wood on a brick foundation and using a four-sloped metal roof construction. The women of a family can be seen standing in front of a large wooden gate that leads to the enclosed yard of one home. Visible in the background are several churches. On the left is the Epiphany Cathedral (built 1771–95; razed in 1930). To its right is the Church of the Ascension on Ascension Hill (built in the late 18th and 19th centuries). Just right of center is the Cathedral of Saint Catherine (built 1758–68; razed in 1930). On the far right is the large bell tower of the Church of Saint Maksimilian (built 1847–76; razed in 1930). This last church was rebuilt in 2006–08. 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

Заводския поселения Верх-Исетскаго завода. [Екатеринбург]

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 28, 2016