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

Frontispiece to The Poet Scout: A Book of Song and Story

Crawford, Jack, 1847-1917
Jack W. Crawford (1847-1917), known as "Captain Jack, the Poet Scout," published his first book of poetry in 1879, republished in subsequent editions. Crawford's poetry recounts tales of his…

English lessons

Finnish-speaking lumber workers in Duluth, Minnesota, learn English through a class in parliamentary procedure. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries tens of millions of farmers and workers…

Haymarket monument, Chicago

Higbie, Tobias
In 2004 the city of Chicago dedicated a monument to commemorate the anarchist labor leaders arrested in the wake of a bomb explosion in Haymarket Square on May 4, 1886. Behind the monument a giant…

Cover of “Wild West Galop for Piano”

D. Emerson
William Cody's Wild West Shows inspired this piece of piano music from the late 1880s.

Cover to What Every Girl Should Know

Sanger, Margaret
The pamphlet What Every Girl Should Know is a compilation of Sanger's early articles on birth control. Sanger had been prosecuted for transmitting "obscene" materials through the mail. By the 1920s,…

Log Cabin meeting houses

P.S. Deuval and Co.
This lithograph shows the succession of buildings that served Presbyterians in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Columbia Avenue in Manufactures Building, 1893 World's Fair

Jackson, William Henry, 1843-1942
A leading photographer of the American West, Jackson made the official set of views for the Exposition.

Capitalism, Humanity, Government

Man Ray
Chicago's anarchist community participated in a national and international debate about the nature of state power in modern society. This cover of Emma Goldman's _Mother Earth_ magazine, drawn by the…
Four more random images