Mausoleum of the Famous Muslim Missionary, the Nogai Imam Hadji-Husein-Bek. ... (White Grave) Fifty Versts from Ufa near the Ishtym 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, natural scenes, and cultural monuments. In the summer of 1910, Prokudin-Gorskii  visited the region around the city of Ufa (now the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan). One of the historic sites he photographed was the ancient akzirat (“white cemetery”), housing the tomb of Hadji Hussein-Bek. The site was located near Ishtym Station, some 35 kilometers west of Ufa. The Ishtym settlement was formally established only in 1650, but the area had long been a center of Bashkir tribal culture. The mausoleum seen here was erected around 1341, the presumed death date of the imam, or holy man. Hussein-Bek came from Turkestan to propagate Islam among the Nogai, overlords of the Bashkirs at that time. Built of fieldstone, the structure had a partially collapsed roof at the time Prokudin-Gorskii visited. The akzirat, surrounded by a wooden fence, held the tombs of many spiritual leaders. 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

Мавзолей знаменитаго мусульманскаго миссионера, ногайскаго имама Хаджи-Хусейн-бека. [...] (белая могила) в 50 в. от Уфы близ ст. Чишмы

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