General View of Novaia Ufa
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 the summer of 1910 was Ufa (now the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan). Ufa extends along a crescent bend on the high right bank of the Belaia River near the mouth of the tributary Ufa River. Russian presence in the area dates from 1573, when a large part of Bashkir territory was taken into the Muscovite state. In 1819 Ufa adopted a general plan devised by William Hastie (1755–1832), a Scottish architect who entered Russian service in 1784. The plan created a “New Town” on a plateau high above the Belaia. This view, taken from “Old Town,” shows the main features of the new district, including the main mosque and the large dome of the Cathedral of the Resurrection (razed in 1932). Seen on the left are a monumental railroad bridge and a wooden pontoon bridge for vehicles, both spanning the Belaia. 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.
Title in Original Language
Общий вид на Новую Уфу
Type of Item
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