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

Boy separating cream at the Rader Farm, Knoxville, Illinois

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company
Children of farm families were expected to help out with farm work from a young age. Here one of the sons of the farmer Scott Rader uses a machine to separate cream from raw milk. Behind him sits a…

Ontario Heartland

"Photo71" [Flickr member]
A Canadian amateur photographer in 2006 considered this image representative of Ontario's "heartland." This farm is at the northern edge of the Toronto metropolitan area.

Charles A. Eastman at Knox College in 1880

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…

Travelling Hunting Party

Lewis, Henry, 1819-1904
Artist Henry Lewis sketched and painted scenes along the Mississippi River between 1846 and 1848. He compiled them into a great panoramic painting of the river that was a popular attraction in the…

Demonstrate for Adequate Cash Relief, Chicago, 1936

Illinois Workers Alliance
American workforce was unemployed. Many struggled alone, feeling isolated and disempowered. In Chicago and other large industrial cities, unemployed councils gave voice to the frustrations of the…

Letter from Margery Currey to Eunice Tietjens, August 8, 1912

This letter between two women of Chicago's early 20th century literary community, recounts Currey's participation in the Progressive Party convention of 1912. At the time Currey was married to the…

Indians Spearing Fish

Lewis, Henry, 1819-1904
Artist Henry Lewis sketched and painted scenes along the Mississippi River between 1846 and 1848. He compiled them into a great panoramic painting of the river that was a popular attraction in the…

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.…
Four more random images