Fishing Settlements on Lake Seliger


In May 1910, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) photographed extensively in the Ostashkov region of Tver Province, giving special attention to Ostashkov itself. Seen here is one of the fishing villages on Lake Seliger on the outskirts of the town’s outskirts. The Seliger lake network, which connects with the Volga River basin, was a transportation link for Ostashkov as well as important for fishing. On the bank in the foreground are wooden skiffs with oars. The seated figure on the right appears to be the photographer, who on occasion set the box camera for exposure and then entered the visual plane. (On this trip he was accompanied by his son Mikhail, who could have operated the camera.) In the background are nets hung to dry. The bottom of the small boat in the middle distance is covered with fish. The large wooden sheds could accommodate the boats and any necessary processing of the fish. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. 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.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Набережная озера Селигер "Рыбацкия поселения на оз. Селигер"

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: October 3, 2016