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

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."

Front cover of program for Buffalo Bill and Captain Jack in Life on the Border

A playbill from the five act play entitled, _Life on The Border_ performed at the Dietz Opera House in Oakland, California, on Wednesday, June 13, 1877. Buffalo Bill Cody and Captain Jack Crawford…

Rollende Prairie

Lewis, Henry, 1819-1904
Artist Henry Lewis sketched and painted scenes along the upper Mississippi River between 1846 and 1848. He compiled them into a panoramic painting nearly half a mile in length, which was a popular…

The Season in Full Swing at the Dill Pickles

An advertisement for a week of events at Chicago's Dill Pickle Club suggests the eclectic mix of radicalism and ribaldry typical of the club. During the fall of 1930 Mae West's melodrama "Sex" played…

Photograph of Elizabeth Packard

As a result of disagreements over religion and money, Theophilus Packard committed his wife of twenty-one years, Elizabeth Ware Packard, to the Illinois insane asylum in 1860. Three years later,…

Cover of Clason's Touring Atlas of the United States and Canada

Clason Map Company
Clason's Touring Atlas of the United States and Canada featured maps, tourist attractions, and "the best routes to the wonders of America." The Clason Map Co. also produced "Clason's Green Guides"…

Don't Shop Downtown Until Willis Goes

Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
Chicago activists distributed the "Stop! Don't Shop Downtown" flyer during a campaign to oust Chicago Public Schools superintendent Benjamin Willis. Activists charged Willis with supporting segregated…

Canadian Mounted Police

Remington, Frederic, 1861-1909
One in a series of drawings by Frederic Remington depicting different Western types.
Four more random images