Crushing of Lime, Five Versts from the Lock


In May 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) photographed in the Ostashkov area of Tver’ Province, including the lake region on the upper reaches of the Volga River. Among the objects photographed was the Upper Volga Dam, first built in wood in 1843 five kilometers below the exit of the Volga from Lake Volgo. The dam was built to create a reservoir unifying Lakes Sterzh, Vselug, Peno and Volgo at the Volga’s origins. This view shows the striated levels of a limestone cut near the river bank some five versts (a Russian measure, now no longer used, equal to 1.0668 kilometers) below the dam. There appears to be a small cave in the center. Above are wooden houses and barns. On the far right is a wooden rack for drying hay. Access to the bank is protected by a wooden rail fence. Although seemingly prosaic, such views give a valuable sense of the geology along the upper Volga. Millions of years of ancient lake beds are visible in the rock formations. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of his 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

Известковыя ломки в 5-ти в. от бейшлота

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: January 13, 2017