Ford Heritage Archives Now Available Online

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Ford Heritage Archives Now Available OnlineFord Motor Company said today, its 119th anniversary, that it is making a century of archival material publicly available through a new online database called the Ford Heritage Vault (https://fordheritagevault.com). Heritage Vault is for fans, journalists and car enthusiasts, said Ford.

The searchable artifacts are downloadable for personal use, free of charge, for the first time as part of what’s claimed to be the American auto industry’s most comprehensive online database* with more than 5,000  photographs and product brochures from Ford and Lincoln vehicles, spanning from the company’s founding in 1903 to its centennial in 2003.

“We’re opening up in a way we’ve never done before,” said Ted Ryan, Ford archive and heritage brand manager. “Our archives were established 70 years ago, and for the first time, we’re opening the vault for the public to see. This is just a first step for all that will come in the future.”

One set of brochures covers the 1970s and ’80s. The series was created to market specific vehicle design packages to younger consumers and shows beach outings, racing and skydiving. “Complementing all of the vehicle photos available in the Ford Heritage Vault, brochures like these add so much more information and impact for people who want to learn about our products, heritage and accessories,” said Ciera Casteel, processing archivist, who prepared materials for the Heritage Vault.

Ford said it worked with graduate students from Wayne State University’s library and information science program in Detroit, as well as Ford employees and retirees, to pilot the Heritage Vault in advance of its launch. Both casual browsers and dedicated auto enthusiasts, stated a better appreciation for Ford and its heritage after using the site. A Ford employee even remarked that seeing the old photos brought tears to his eyes.

Ford Bronco and Ford F-Series were common search items among testers. Meteor, Fairlane, Galaxie, Model A and Edsel were also popular, with one user finding the Tempo models their mother and grandmother owned in the 1980s and ’90s.

 Ford Heritage Vault has been created with accessibility features that translate photos, charts and graphs and other pre-digital assets for compatibility with assistive technology now used by blind and visually impaired site visitors, such as screen readers, to interpret websites. Heritage Vault users can request remediated versions of additional brochures as needed.

“These assets were born analog, and we have worked hard to bring them to the digital world,” said Casteel, who led the effort to make the assets accessible. “But digitizing isn’t enough. It was important to us that the Heritage Vault is accessible for everyone to enjoy.”

*AutoInformed on

This entry was posted in milestones, shows and events and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.