Khalynka River, Flowing into the Volga River. City of Rzhev


In the early summer of 1910, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) traveled and photographed in Tver’ Province northwest of Moscow. Among the towns he visited was Rzhev, the population of which in that year was 22,400. The river divided the town into two parts historically known as Prince Fyodor (left bank) and Prince Dmitrii (right bank), after the son and nephew respectively of Prince Boris of Tver’, who ruled the town in the mid-15th century. This view shows the River Kholinka (pronounced and misspelled by the photographer as “Khalinka”), located in a limestone ravine on the Prince Fyodor side. Only 22 kilometers long, the Kholinka is a left tributary of the Volga. In World War II, during the First and Second Rzhev Offensive Operations in the summer and fall of 1942, the ravine was the scene of bitter fighting that led to appalling losses, especially on the Soviet side. One common grave is said to contain 12,000 killed in the battle to retake the village of Polunin, located on the right bank five kilometers north of Rzhev. 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

Речка Халынка, впадающая в Волгу. г. Ржев

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