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

King Debs

Rogers, W. A.
In May of 1894, during a severe economic depression, members of the newly formed American Railway Union went on strike to protest the Pullman Company's refusal to reduce rental rates in company…

Margaret Sanger's Chicago speaking engagements, 1916

In 1913 and 1914 New Yorker Margaret Sanger published several articles on birth control, venereal disease, and women's rights that resulted in federal obscenity charges against her. When the charges…

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.

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…

Chicago's Interracial Debating Classic, January 25, 1931

Before the advent of television, lectures and debates provided public entertainment. Social activists used these venues to present their ideas and to educate their constituencies. This flyer promotes…

J. W. Noseworthy and his class at the Hollinger Mine

A group of immigrant miners learns English in a “Frontier College” classroom. During the early 20th century, Canadian mining, timber, and railroad companies recruited thousands of young men from…

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.

Title page and annotated flyleaf to Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon Counties, Iowa

In the late nineteenth century publishers compiled histories and biographical dictionaries for counties throughout the Midwest. Residents often paid for their biographies to be included. In this copy…
Four more random images