These photos were first sent to me last year and blew me away with their intensity and beauty. It is an amazing collection of photographs by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii of the Russian Empire taken between 1909 and 1912– just years before the Russian Empire as known by the previous 200 years of history would cease to exist. The collection gives some insight into the unfathomable diversity in the Russian Empire’s cultures, architecture, ethnicities and geographies.
For more information on how Prokudin-Gorskii took color photographs in the early 1900s I will refer you to his Wikipedia page… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergey_Prokudin-Gorsky
For the entire collection, please visit the following http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/