Making History in Central North America

Based on the world-renowned collections of the Newberry Library in Chicago, “Frontier to Heartland” offers access to historical primary sources, scholarly perspectives on the past, and resources to help you use the site.


Essays with a point of view

In words and pictures Perspectives explain how central North America came to be known as a "frontier" and then a "heartland." You can trace the history of the region over 400 years, consider the cultural power of images, or learn how to read historic maps.


Thematic collections of images

Galleries are a quick way to view a range of themes in Frontier to Heartland.  Each gallery presents eight related images and links to the image collection.

Browse Archive

A Map of the British Empire in America with the French, and Spanish settlements adjacent thereto

Popple, Henry, d. 1743
Commissioned by the British Board of Trade and Plantations at a time of imperial conflict with France, this map emphasized the westward extent of British territorial claims in North America. The map…

Cover to International Socialist Review, October 1915

Published by Charles H. Kerr Co. from 1900 to 1918, the _International Socialist Review_ became the principal voice of the Socialist Party's left wing, utilizing the format of a mass circulation…

Cover of Buffalo Bill With General Custer

Ingraham, Prentiss, 1843-1904
Prentiss Ingraham, a prolific dime novel writer, worked briefly as an advance agent for Buffalo Bill's show in the 1880s, and wrote hundreds of cheap popular novels about Buffalo Bill.

Map of Chicago in 1830 (published in 1886)

Andreas, A. T. (Alfred Theodore), 1839-1900
Published an 1886 history of Chicago, this map recalls a time when the city was a frontier settlement. Visible on the map are the homes and businesses of early residents as well as indications of…

Karte von Michigan

Farmer, John, 1798-1859
John Farmer became the premier cartographer of Michigan in the early nineteenth century, publishing his first map of the state in 1826. This 1834 map, published in German, indicates the location of a…

Tens-Kwau-Ta-Waw, the Prophet

Inman, Henry, 1801-1846
Tenskwatawa, the Shawnee Prophet, led a major religious movement among Indians in the Midwest between 1805 and 1813. His brother Tecumseh led a parallel political effort to unify Indians in resistance…

Sanitary Drinking Cup, Socialist Party Presidential Campaign of 1912

A re-usable drinking cup with the pictures of 1912 Socialist Party candidates for President and Vice President of the U.S. Eugene V. Debs ran for President five times between 1900 and 1920, the last…

The Indians at Argonne fact sheet

In the late spring of 1970, a group of American Indians set up an encampment behind Wrigley Field. Led by Indian activist Mike Chosa, the Chicago Indian Village (CIV) protested against inadequate…
Four more random images