Although regions are often determined by boundaries, consider how networks have influenced the distinct history of the Midwest. Waterways and transportation routes connected the interior to broader trade networks and markets for centuries. More recently, the movement of people and resources shaped the evolution of agricultural, extractive, and tourist industries in the Midwest. Navigate the maps below to explore how networks define the region.
Choose a section below and then use arrows to progress through each story map. Click pictures to view them with a magnifying glass; click a second time to open the full image in another tab.
We acknowledge that the Midwest is home of Indigenous peoples past and present. The Newberry Library is situated on the ancestral lands of the Illinois Confederacy, Kickapoo, Miami and Potawatomi peoples. We honor and thank Indigenous communities as our partners on the land of what is currently the city of Chicago. [Statement currently under revision.]