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

Memorandum regarding the Till murder trial, September 13, 1955, Chicago Sun-Times.

While visiting his relatives in Mississippi during the summer of 1955, fourteen-year old Chicagoan Emmett Till was lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Till's mother insisted on bringing…

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…

Grain elevators, Central Illinois

Higbie, Tobias
Two grain elevator facilities west of Champaign, Illinois. On the left, the larger facility is that of The Andersons Grain and Ethanol Group. On the right, the much smaller Rising Farmers Grain…

Farm woman gathering eggs

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Although tending poultry was considered "women's work" on midwestern farms, it was a profitable enterprise that brought in much needed cash for farm families.

Factory worker filing small gun parts, Milwaukee

Hollem, Howard R.
Photographers working for the U.S. Office of War Information documented the dependence of factories on women workers. In February 1943 this young woman at the Vilter Manufacturing Company in…

Help Lift the Lid

An advertisement for an evening at Chicago's Dill Pickle Club.

There Ought to Be School for the Instruction of Women Voters

McCutcheon, John T. (John Tinney), 1870-1949
This cartoon appeared in the _Chicago Tribune_ five days after the Illinois House of Representatives approved women's suffrage in Illinois.

Annie Oakley

Fox, Richard, K.
The sharpshooter Annie Oakley (1860-1926) was born Phoebe Ann Moses to a poor Ohio farming family. To feed and support her family she learned to trap and shoot, and later performed shooting tricks on…
Four more random images