I stumbled onto this earlier today. Some of these images are amazing ...
Prints & Photographs Online Catalog - Prokudin-Gorskii Collection - About - Background and Scope
122 original color images and recent digital renderings on one page: Search Results
Using emerging technological advances in color photography, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) made numerous photographic trips to systematically document the Russian Empire. He conducted most of his visual surveys between 1909 and 1915, although some of his work dates as early as 1905. The Empire at this time stretched 7,000 miles from west to east and 3,000 miles from north to south and comprised one-sixth of the earth's land mass. It was the largest empire in history and spanned what today are eleven different times zones.
Tsar Nicholas II supported this ambitious project by providing passes and transportation: by rail, boat and automobile. Each journey made by Prokudin-Gorskii is represented by a photographic album and corresponding negatives. There is also an album of various studies, including views in Europe.