Participating Libraries and Archives


The documents included in Frontier Life: Borderlands, Settlement & Colonial Encounters have been selected from the following archives and libraries:


 American Philosophical Society

American Philosophical Society, Pennsylvania

The American Philosophical Society, based in Philadelphia, has played an important role in American cultural and intellectual life for over 250 years. Since its founding by Benjamin Franklin in 1743, the APS has become an eminent scholarly organization of international reputation which promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities.


California Historical Society

California Historical Society

The California Historical Society, founded in 1871, is a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make California's richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives. The California Historical Society collection represents the environmental, economic, social, political, and cultural heritage of the entire state, including materials from outside California that contribute to a greater understanding of the state and its people.


Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin

The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History is an organized research unit and public service component of The University of Texas at Austin. The Briscoe Center increases knowledge and fosters exploration of the past by collecting, preserving, and making available documentary and material culture evidence encompassing key themes in Texas and U.S. history.


Earlham College

Earlham College, Indiana

Earlham College was established in 1847 and is based in Richmond, Indiana. This independent residential college aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and is shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).


Glenbow Museum

Glenbow Museum

Glenbow Museum has been a key cultural cornerstone in Calgary since 1966. Glenbow’s collection represents Western Canadian art and culture, both as a repository of important cultural history and as a living record of contemporary life. This collection includes over a million objects, documents, photographs and artworks and makes Glenbow one of the largest museums in western Canada.


Guilford College

Guilford College, North Carolina

Guilford College was founded in 1837 and is based in Greensboro, North Carolina. The college is guided by Quaker testimonies and aims to provide a transformative, practical and excellent liberal arts education. The college strives to be a symbol of academic excellence and institutional distinctiveness by furthering innovation through collaboration.


Archives of Manitoba

Hudson’s Bay Company Archives and Archives of Manitoba

The Hudson's Bay Company Archives (HBCA), a division of the Archives of Manitoba, is home to one of Canada's national treasures— the records of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). The Hudson's Bay Company's records document the history of the HBC since its inception in 1670 following the history of the fur trade, North American exploration, the development of Canada as a country and the growth of HBC's Canadian retail empire.


Massachusetts Historical Society

Massachusetts Historical Society

Founded in 1791, the Massachusetts Historical Society is a center of research and learning dedicated to a deeper understanding of the American experience. Its extraordinary collections tell the story of America through millions of rare and unique documents, artifacts, and irreplaceable national treasures. Through these collections, its scholarly pursuits, and its public programs, the Society seeks to nurture a greater appreciation for American history.


Missouri History Museum

Missouri History Museum

The Missouri History Museum in Saint Louis was founded in 1866 and is owned and operated by the Missouri Historical Society. The museum showcases the history of Missouri through its many exhibitions and holds over two million books, archival papers, photographs and artifacts in its collections.


The National Archives, UK

The National Archives, UK

The National Archives are one of the world’s most valuable resources for academic research. As the official archive and publisher for the UK government they are the guardian of millions of the UK's national documents, the earliest dating back over 1,000 years. Their role is to collect and secure the future of the government record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible.


Cambridge University Library

Royal Commonwealth Society Collections at Cambridge University Library

The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) Library’s collections are a treasure-trove of information, pictorial and written, print and manuscript, on the Commonwealth and Britain's former colonial territories, comprising over 300,000 printed items, about 800 archival collections (including manuscript diaries, correspondence, pictures, cine films, scrapbooks and newspaper cuttings) and over 120,000 photographs.


State Library of New South Wales

State Library of New South Wales

The State Library began as a small subscription library in the 1820s for colonials who were desperate to read books. The library is now renowned for its historical and contemporary collections, comprising more than six million items, hold the growing memory of both its state and nation.


St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri

St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis

Established in 1846 by civic leaders and philanthropists, the Mercantile exists today as a vibrant community and cultural asset. It is the oldest library west of the Mississippi and the grandparent of St. Louis cultural institutions. The collections at the library concentrate on Western Expansion and the history, development, and growth of the St. Louis region and of the American rail and river transportation experiences.


University of California, San Diego

University of California, San Diego

The University California San Diego is located in La Jolla, California. The University of California San Diego is a student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public institution that provides opportunity for all. The University aims to educate, disseminate knowledge and engage in public service.


University of Melbourne Library

University of Melbourne Library

The University of Melbourne is an Australian public research university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Their University Library is one of the busiest in Australia and holds more than 3.5 million items in its general collections. These holdings include book materials, DVDs, photographic slides, music scores, periodicals and even children's toys.





The objects and frontier dwelling reproductions included in this collection come from the following museums:

Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia

The Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Virginia focuses directly on America's frontier past and tells the story of the thousands of people who migrated to colonial America, and of the life they created here for themselves and their descendants. The Museum tells these stories by moving or reproducing examples of traditional rural buildings from England, Germany, Ireland, West Africa, and America.

Manitoba Museum

The Manitoba Museum was established in 1965 and is situated in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. This non-profit organization aims to preserve the heritage of Manitoba for present and future generations and is renowned for its combined human and natural heritage themes. The Manitoba Museum’s vast collections hold an incredible 2,600,000 treasures.

Museum of Old Domestic Life

The Museum of Old Domestic Life is based in an 1858 Quaker meeting house in High Point, North Carolina. The museum aims to depict nineteenth-century rural life by focusing on the domestic sphere. The meeting house has been made domestic through the incorporation of historical artifacts that were found in colonial Quaker’s homes.