View from the Hill of the Ilmenskoe Lake near the Miass Station


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. Among the towns Prokudin-Gorskii visited in 1909 was Miass, which originated with a copper smelter built in 1773. The area had been settled by Bashkirs before the Russians arrived. From the early 19th century until the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, the Miass River valley was a center of gold prospecting, yet the town remained small. When Prokudin-Gorskii visited, the population had reached almost 20,000. In 1891, Miass served as the western launching point for the construction of the original path of the Trans-Siberian Railway. This view, taken from a hill in the Ilmenskii Range, shows Lake Ilmenskoe, which flows into the Miass River. Beyond the edge of the photograph to the right is Miass Station. The curving railroad track is partially visible along the near lakeshore. The hills are covered primarily with pine and fir trees, as well as some birch and aspen. The lake is now a major recreation area for Miass, whose current population is around 150,000. 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

Вид с горы на Ильменское озеро около ст. Миас [i.е. Миасс]

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