Ford Heritage Vault published, 100 years of free archives go live

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Ford has published a database called the Heritage Vault, packed with more than 5000 curated photos and brochures spanning the company’s founding in 1903 to its centennial in 2003.

The searchable Ford Heritage Vault comprises a lot of product info and assets that are being made public online for the first time – much to the delight of car nerds everywhere.

Ford considers it “the American auto industry’s most comprehensive online database”, and says it will continue to be updated and expanded over time.

Want a scanned brochure showing off the 1983 Falcon ute and panel van, for instance? No worries.

Ford says it’s created the site “for fans, journalists and car enthusiasts, making it easy to discover the company’s rich heritage from anywhere in the world”.

“We’re opening up in a way we’ve never done before,” reckons Ford archive and heritage brand manager Ted Ryan.

“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.”

The materials available in the online collection today were curated over the past two years by Ford’s archivists.

“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 processing archivist Ciera Casteel.

Ford worked with 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.

Ford Bronco and Ford F-Series were common search items among testers, the company found. 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.

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