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  • Ford Fans: Check Out Ford's New Online Heritage Vault

    Ford Fans: Check Out Ford's New Online Heritage Vault

    Cool news to share not just for Ford fans but also all automotive history buffs. For the first time ever, you can now access a massive amount of information about Ford's past models (Lincoln included) online.  We're talking more than 5,000 photos and brochures, now accessible through Ford's new digital Heritage Vault. 

    Ford Heritage Vault

    Ford says it created the Heritage Vault to make it easier for fans, journalists and car enthusiasts to discover the company’s rich heritage from anywhere in the world. It contains a century of its archived material  - spanning from the company’s founding in 1903 to its centennial in 2003. Ford says it will expand the Heritage Vault over time.  Everything in the database is downloaded for free for personal use, free of charge.

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    “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.”

    Ford says the materials were carefully curated over the past two years by Ford’s archives team. Many of the high-resolution images showcase the design and functionality of Ford and Lincoln vehicles. Other photos are memorable images that bring Ford’s heritage to life for fans and car enthusiasts.

    Ford points out one set of brochures that it says serves as a time capsule for the 1970s and ’80s.  The automaker says the series was created to market specific vehicle design packages to younger consumers and shows beach outings, racing and skydiving, accentuated with vivid oranges, browns and yellows.

    “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.

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    Ford says 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 ahead of its public launch. It says the collection appealed to both casual browsers and dedicated automotive enthusiasts, who reported a better appreciation for Ford and its heritage after using the site. The automaker also says 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 says the Heritage Vault was 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.  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.” 

    Click here to visit the Heritage Vault.

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    Photo credit:  Ford.