Side View of Mine Works near the Satkinskii Plant


Shown here are excavation terraces at the Bakal iron mines, one of the world’s richest sources of ore. They are located on the west slope of Mount Irkustan, part of the southwestern Urals in what is now Chelyabinsk Oblast. In 1910, when this photograph was taken, the Bakal mines—which included the Tiazhelye (Heavy) Mines shown here—belonged to the Satkinskii Factory some 30 kilometers to the northeast in the town of Satka (on the other side of the near hills in this view). In the background are log sheds, one of which housed the machinery for a mining tramway (ropeway conveyer). Also visible is a house that might have served as an office. On the left are stacks of logs used to stoke smelting furnaces. At the foot of the hills in the middle background is the Little Satka River. 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 parts of the empire. He made several trips to the Ural Mountains, where he photographed railroad installations and factories.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Боковой вид выработки у Саткинскаго завода

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