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…

Dill Pickle Lending Library

Among Chicago's most unusual contributions to the culture of modern urban life was the Dill Pickle Club, located at 18 Tooker Alley just east of Bughouse Square. Operating as a coffeehouse, art…

Eighth Map to accompany Willard's History of the United States

Maverick, Samuel, 1789-1845
Maps such as these appeared in books for schoolchildren learning history and geography. Unlike earlier maps, this one presents the area west of the Appalachian Mountains as empty land.

United States of America Compiled from the latest & best Authorities

Melish, John, 1771-1822
Like other maps from the early years of the United States, John Melish's 1818 map claimed territory for the new nation. The odd shape of the state of Illinois suggests the mapmaker's limited…

Farmer planting corn near Creston, Iowa

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Although many had switched to motorized tractors by the late 1940s, this farmer in southwestern Iowa was still using horses.

Cover to International Socialist Review, November 1915

Published by Charles H. Kerr Co. from 1900 to 1918, the _International Socialist Review_ became the principal voice of the Socialist Party's left wing, utilizing the format of a mass circulation…

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.

Step High, Stoop Low, Leave Your Dignity Outside: Entrance to the Dill Pickle Club, 18 Tooker Alley

Among Chicago's most unusual contributions to the culture of modern urban life was the Dill Pickle Club, located at 18 Tooker Alley just east of Bughouse Square. Operating as a coffeehouse, art…
Four more random images