Sim River Valley from Sokolinaia Mountain


This vista, taken from Sokolinaia Gora (Falcon Hill), shows the Sim River valley in the area of Asha-Balashovskaia. The Sim, some 240 kilometers long, originates in the hills of western Chelyabinsk oblast and flows west to the Belaya River, with which it merges southeast of Ufa, capital of Bashkorstan. The settlement (now the town) of Asha arose in the late 19th century at the Asha-Balashovo iron-working factory, located at the confluence of the small Asha River with the Sim. The arrangement of houses, with large garden plots bordered by forest, is typical for the area’s settlements. The completion of the Samara-Zlatoust Railroad (visible here) in 1892 linked the Sim valley and its factories to the national rail system. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s 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. During the summer of 1910 he traveled extensively in the Ural Mountains region, where he photographed transportation networks and geographical features.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Долина реки Сим с Соколиной горы

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