Skeleton of Large-Horned Stag in the Museum of the City of 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. In 1909 and 1910 he photographed extensively in the Urals region, including the city of Ekaterinburg (named Sverdlovsk 1924–91). Seen in this 1909 photograph is the skeleton of a large-horned stag on display at the Museum of the Urals Society of Lovers of Natural Sciences, founded in 1870. In 1886, the society was allotted space for its collections in the building of the Administration of Mines, located in the center of Ekaterinburg. The expansion of the museum during the Soviet period spawned a number of more specialized museums. This skeleton is now on display at the nature museum in the city. It was excavated in 1886 in the Kamyshlov district (now in Sverdlovsk Oblast) and is apparently unique in the extent of its preservation. The large-horned elk (Megaloceros giganteus) belonged to a now-extinct genus of giant deer that lived in Eurasia from the late Pliocene to the late Pleistocene epoch. 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

Скелет широкорогаго оленя в музее г. Екатеринбурга

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