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Ford Archives, The Henry Ford to Make More Ford History Accessible Online

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Ford Archives, The Henry Ford to Make More Ford History Accessible Online

  • Key material from the millions of assets currently held at Ford archives and The Henry Ford soon will be accessible online
  • The goal is to preserve and share more of Ford Motor Company’s rich history, such as papers from Henry Ford’s office, Mustang heritage photography, 1964-65 New York World’s Fair and other images from throughout the years
  • Ford archives and the museum turn to digital platforms to make their shared heritage accessible to new audiences

Ford Motor Company is taking pieces from its storied past and moving them into the future.

The Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company have teamed up to help share key materials on www.TheHenryFord.org beginning in 2014.

Henry Ford and his wife Clara were essentially amateur archivists – meticulously collecting the artifacts from their lives. This tradition continues today at Ford Motor Company archives, which house the company’s unique history and are not open to the public.

True to Henry’s vision, the museum and the company archives tell Ford Motor Company’s story through thousands of cubic feet of photographs, films, documents, advertisements, press materials, product brochures and more. Most of these treasures, until now, could be seen only by a lucky few, and it had to be in person.

“New technologies allow museums today to share their artifacts in new ways both onsite and online,” said Marilyn Zoidis, director of historical resources for The Henry Ford. “At The Henry Ford, we are committed to digitizing our unique collections for the world to access, and the assistance we receive from collaborating with Ford’s archives furthers our efforts to share these important pieces of history like never before.”

The ongoing initiative will focus on digitizing key assets from collections such as The Henry Ford Office Papers – documents that passed over Ford’s desk for nearly half a century. The need for going digital is clear, as just this single collection fills more than 1,600 cubic feet.

“This project helps The Henry Ford make our shared history available to more people,” said Dean Weber, manager, Ford archives and AV assets. “It helps bring Ford’s story to life for a whole new audience through social media.”

Selections from the following will be digitized:

  • Letter signed by Henry Ford when he handed leadership of the company to his grandson Henry Ford II
  • 450 rolls of film from the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair
  • Ford Mustang heritage photography
  • Countless historic Ford and Lincoln advertising images

The Benson Ford Research Center, part of The Henry Ford, currently houses more than 14 million documents from Ford Motor Company. This project will enable The Henry Ford to devote more resources to making documents available to digital outlets. The digital assets will then serve the dual purpose of helping Ford connect with consumers and helping researchers worldwide access materials through the museum’s website.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 187,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

About The Henry Ford

The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan is an internationally-recognized cultural destination that brings the past forward by immersing visitors in the stories of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation that helped shape America. A national historic landmark with an unparalleled collection of artifacts from 300 years of American history, The Henry Ford is a force for sparking curiosity and inspiring tomorrow’s innovators. Nearly two million visitors annually experience its five attractions: Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, The Ford Rouge Factory Tour, The Benson Ford Research Center and The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre. A continually expanding array of content available online provides anytime, anywhere access. The Henry Ford is also home to Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school which educates 485 students a year on the institution’s campus. For more information please visit our website thehenryford.org.

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