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.

Perspectives

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.

Galleries

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

World's Fair worker's passbook

Christina Olson was engaged at the age of twelve to perform as a Turkish dancer in the Turkish Theater, Midway Plaisance, World's Columbian Exposition, for the summer of 1893.

The Falls of St. Anthony

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…

The Grand Council

Lewis, Henry, 1819-1904
American Indians gather along a river in conference. Artist Henry Lewis sketched and painted scenes along the upper Mississippi River between 1846 and 1848. He compiled them into a panoramic…

World Fashions Make Aurora a Style Center

Zak, Karel J.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the International Corset Company of Aurora, Illinois was a major manufacturer of foundation garments. During the 1920s it sponsored the International School of Scientific…

View North From Colonnade, 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.

Death of Custer

Siegel, Cooper & Co.
Decades after Custer's death, Pawnee Bill (Gordon W. Lillie), like Buffalo Bill, found commercial success in reenacting a stylized vision of frontier victimization.

Hogan'-Lu'Ta (Red Fish), “Custer as a Comanche”

Hogan'-Lu'Ta (Red Fish)
Undated painting on cardboard with an annotation, "Custer as a Comanche." A similar painting (image #202) depicts "Custer as a White Man."

McClure Farm, Franklin County, Indiana

This image of a well-established farm in south eastern Indiana is an example of the many county atlases produced in midwestern states during the late 19th century. The accompanying text (readable in…
Four more random images