Valley of the Iset River at the Village of Kolchedan


This photograph shows the Iset River valley near the village of Kolchedanskoe (Kolchedan), situated at the confluence of the small Kolchedanka River with the Iset near the boundary of contemporary Sverdlovsk and Kurgan Oblast. The village, whose name refers to an iron-bearing rock, was founded in 1650 as an outpost to defend the region from attack by Bashkirs, who were not subdued until the latter half of the 18th century. Visible here is a flood plain, with vegetable fields enclosed in wattle fences. 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 different parts of the empire. In 1912 Prokudin-Gorskii participated in an expedition along the Kama-Tobol Waterway together with members of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society. During the expedition he did extensive photography in the area of the Iset River. The Iset, 600 kilometers in length, originates northwest of Ekaterinburg, flows through that city, and proceeds east to the Tobol River.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Долина р. Исети у села Колчеданскаго

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: July 9, 2015