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

Mittal Steel, Riverdale, Illinois

Higbie, Tobias
A modern steel "minimill" about 30 miles south of downtown Chicago. A U.S. flag appears prominently on one side of the mill. Situated on the Calumet River, this facility was built by Acme Steel in…

Charles A. Eastman

Also known by his Dakota name Ohiyesa, Eastman grew up with his grandmother and uncle in Manitobabut became a Christian at his father's urging. He attended Knox and Dartmouth Colleges, and received a…

Plain Crees driving buffaloes into a pound

This illustration accompanies Henry Hind's description of how Cree Indians captured buffalo for slaughter. In the distance a circular "pound" or corral is visible.

Chief American Horse, Northern Cheyenne

Burbank, E. A. (Elbridge Ayer), 1858-1949
Oil on canvas. Signed "E.A. Burbank, Lame Deer, Mont., 1897."

Chicago Under the Mob

Remington, Frederic, 1861-1909
When Frederic Remington wrote and illustrated this article about labor unrest in Chicago he was already a well-known for his images of western themes. The text describes Chicago's immigrant workers as…

Will Amazonic Women Usurp Man's Sphere?

Dill Pickle Club
An advertisement for a lecture at Chicago's Dill Pickle Club, printed on the reverse of an advertisement for a lecture by Magnus Hirschfeld. Little is known about the speaker, Elizabeth Davis, who…

Custer's Last Battle in New Light

Lorenz, Alma
In 1927 William Hale Thompson, the mayor of Chicago, had been elected to a third term after vigorously attacking school history textbooks as too pro-British. He sought to commission the writing of a…

Midway Plaisance looking west, 1893 World's Fair

Jackson, William Henry, 1843-1942
The Midway Plaisance offered amusements ranging from a replica "Street in Cairo" to carnival rides. The world's first Ferris Wheel, invented by George W. Ferris, was a popular Midway attraction. The…
Four more random images