Fans of classic Fords take note, the Blue Oval is launching the Ford Heritage Vault as a public-facing place where you can find the whole history of the brand's products. This includes thousands of images and scans of brochures.
The Ford Heritage Vault is a place to dig into the company's history from 1903 to 2003. Right now, there are over 5,000 pieces of content on the site, and that amount is only going to grow in the future.
Gallery: Ford Heritage Vault
"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," Ted Ryan, Ford archive and heritage brand manager, said in the announcement of the heritage vault.
The collection isn't just for Ford-branded products. Lincoln and Mercury's models are also in there. There are even defunct marques like Edsel and Merkur.
In addition to the thousands of photos, the brochures are a major highlight. They are available in high-resolution scans and cover often-forgotten bits of the company's history. For example, if you want to see the accessory catalog for the 1953 Ford models, it's available.
Ford has been working to create the Heritage Vault for the past two years. This included curating the materials to include on the site. The company also worked with graduate students from Wayne State University’s library and information science program to develop things.
The search functionality lets users tailor exactly what they're looking for. In addition to obvious things like make and model, a person can select the color of the car in the images. If you only want to see red Ford Tempos for some reason, that's possible.
Ford even made sure the site was accessible to everyone. Assistive technology creates descriptions of the photos, brochures, charts, and graphs so that visually impaired visitors can get this information.