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

Woman's Protest Against Woman Suffrage

Illinois Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage
Chicago novelist Caroline F. Corbin considered socialism and women's suffrage closely allied evils. Together, she believed, the two would undermine the traditional family and ultimately harm women. In…

Cleaning the Vista Dome Car

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
A worker empties trash from a rail road dining car, 1949. Two workers are visible inside the car. Most railroad work was racially segregated into the 1950s with African Americans largely restricted…

Rollende Prairie

Lewis, Henry, 1819-1904
Artist Henry Lewis sketched and painted scenes along the upper Mississippi River between 1846 and 1848. He compiled them into a panoramic painting nearly half a mile in length, which was a popular…

An Indian trapper

Remington, Frederic, 1861-1909
A depiction of an Indian on horseback in a mountainous landscape. Theodore Dodge described the "Indian Trapper" as a common character in the northern Rocky Mountains before the 1860s: a contract…

Carte copiée sur celle qui a été tracée par le sauvage Ochagache et autres

Margry. Pierre
The map shown here was traced in a French archive in 1846 from an original map drawn in the 1730s by Auchagah (Ochagache), a Cree Indian, at the request of a French army officer stationed at a fort…

Cover to International Socialist Review, November 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…

Agriculture section, Aurora Beacon-News Centennial Edition

In 1937 the Aurora Beacon-News commemorated the centennial of Aurora, Illinois, 40 miles west of Chicago. The cover of the agricultural section represented Aurora as a trading center at the heart of…

Sexual Reform on a Scientific Basis

Hirschfield, Magnus
Cover of the literary magazine _Earth_ published in Wheaton, Illinois. Magnus Hirschfeld, an openly gay German physician, was a long-time advocate of human rights for sexual minorities. The article…
Four more random images