The Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection features color photographic surveys of the vast Russian Empire made between ca. 1905 and 1915. Frequent subjects among the 2,607 distinct images include people, religious architecture, historic sites, industry and agriculture, public works construction, scenes along water and railway transportation routes, and views of villages and cities. An active photographer and scientist, Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) undertook most of his ambitious color documentary project from 1909 to 1915. The Library of Congress purchased the collection from the photographer’s sons in 1948.

at first i contemplated cropping the frames, but then decided they kind of add to the beauty of these.

all images courtesy of the library of congress


  1. i hadn’t seen these images with the color bands … you’re right, they make this look more Austin Powers than dreary Russia!

  2. Jessica RC Reply

    These are incredible. I don’t think I’d like them as much without the color bands. I might have to print a few out…

  3. I love these. I’m Russian and my great grand parents lived in Russian villages at the same time this were taken. It’s a really nice link with that past. Thank you.

  4. I love how the vibrant colours remind me of stained glass windows, and hint at an mysterious deeper meaning…..

  5. Pingback: From Russia, With Love «

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