Sim River Valley. Miniar


This remarkable vista, looking toward the southwest from Red Cliff, shows the Sim River valley at the town of Miniar (present-day Chelyabinsk Oblast). The Sim, some 240 kilometers long, originates in the hills of western Chelyabinsk oblast and flows southwest to the Belaya River, with which it merges southeast of Ufa, the capital of Bashkorstan. Miniar arose in 1771 adjacent to an iron-working factory situated at the confluence of the Sim and Miniar Rivers. The completion of the Samara-Zlatoust Railroad in 1892 linked Miniar to the national rail system. Seen here are new buildings along the railroad, with the forested slopes of Pozharnyi Greben Mountain in the background. 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 striking geographical features.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Долина р. Сим. Миньяр

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