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

Rights of Married Women

Bradwell, Myra
Myra Colby Bradwell began publishing the _Chicago Legal News_ in 1868, to agitate for a wide range of women's rights. In this editorial, Bradwell argued for the broadest possible interpretation of an…

Sleeping on the Burlington Route and Eating on the Burlington Route

Printed in a guidebook, "How to Go West," these advertisements for Pullman cars stressed elegance, comfort, and speed. Pullman cars changed the nature of rail travel for middle and upper class…

A Tale of Three Actors

Morris, Jim
Studs Terkel, Oscar Brown, and Fred Pinkard working together in a play protesting the hydrogen bomb. Pinkard work on WMAQ's "Destination Freedom."

Indians Spearing Fish

Lewis, Henry, 1819-1904
Artist Henry Lewis sketched and painted scenes along the Mississippi River between 1846 and 1848. He compiled them into a great panoramic painting of the river that was a popular attraction in the…

Lac Superieur et autres lieux ou sont les missions des peres de la Compagnie de Iesus, comprises sous le nom d'Outaouacs

Dablon, Claude
This map of the upper Great Lakes shows several Jesuit missions as well as American Indian communities.


Parsons, Albert R.
This book was written by the author while in prison awaiting execution for his participation in the Chicago Haymarket Square riot. Albert Parsons was executed on November 11, 1887. _Anarchismus_ is…

Advertisement for a lecture by Dr. Magnus Hirshfeld, Chicago, 1931.

Dill Pickle Club
Magnus Hirschfeld, an openly gay German physician, was a long-time advocate of human rights for sexual minorities. He founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee in 1897 to advocate for the…

Chicago Indian Village

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