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

Cheyenne camp attacked at Powder River

From a Cheyenne ledger book, probably illustrated between 1877 and 1879, containing drawings by Black Horse and other Cheyenne warriors. The Black Horse ledger book is part of a long tradition of the…


Zitkala-Sa (1876-1938) was born Gertrude Bonnin on the Yankton Sioux reservation in Dakota Territory. As a youth she attended one of the many boarding schools designed to assimilate Native Americans…

Chicago lakefront

United States Army Corps of Engineers
This image was taken from an elevated position on the west side of Michigan Avenue overlooking Grant Park in Chicago. Docked along the shore are ferries to the World's Fair several miles to the south.…

Ukrainian-Canadian Festival, Saskatoon

Association of Ukrainian Canadians
A man and woman in traditional dress dance atop a map of Canada. As part of its plan to populate the western provinces the Canadian government encouraged immigration from many European countries.…

A Tale of Three Actors

Morris, Jim
Studs Terkel, Oscar Brown, and Fred Pinkard working together in a play protesting the hydrogen bomb. Pinkard work on WMAQ's "Destination Freedom."


Chicago Federation of Labor
In coordinated raids organized by Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer across the nation during January 1920, federal and local law enforcement officials arrested thousands of radicals, trade union…

Cover to The Charge of the Rough Riders: Grand Galop Militaire

This song celebrated the role of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders in the Spanish American War of 1898.

Lumber docks, Chicago River

United States Army Corps of Engineers
Children watch the photographer as a tugboat pulls a ship through the Chicago River. To the left workers unload lumber from a ship.
Four more random images