Batum. Town of Nobelevskii from Fort II


Batumi is a major Black Sea port city located in the southern region of Adjara, near the border between Georgia and Turkey. The city became part of the Russian Empire under the terms of the Treaty of San Stefano of 1878 and served as a duty-free port as well as a favored resort location on the Black Sea. The development of Batumi was accelerated by the completion in 1900 of a railroad and oil pipeline from Baku, on the Caspian Sea in present-day Azerbaijan, where the Nobel brothers had extensive oil fields. The Nobel Company built a large petroleum storage facility in Batumi port, which appears in this photograph, taken from the heights of Russian Fort Number 2, with stunning coastal scenery in the background.In the early 20th century Batumi was the site of serious labor unrest connected with the petroleum industry. 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. In 1905 and again in 1910 he traveled to the Caucasus, including the Black Sea coast.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Батум. Нобелевский городок с форта II

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