DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Ford and the Henry Ford museum are taking their vast trove of historical documents, photos, video and other items and digitizing them so they can be shared online with the public.
Among the 14 million items accumulated in the Ford archives in Dearborn is the resignation letter Henry Ford sent to his board of directors on Sept. 20, 1945, in which he said he needed time to pursue personal interests. They also have sketches, ad campaign materials and video, according to the Detroit Free Press ( http://on.freep.com/1cGo3dR ).
"People have a great emotional connection to the company's heritage," archives manager Dean Weber said. "We're digitizing our heritage to get more online and reach new audiences."
The University of California has offered its computing center to assist with the collection, which will be available at thehenryford.org. But not all items can be scanned for online viewing.
Marilyn Zoidis, museum director of historical resources, said standards used by the Library of Congress will be followed to put the documents online.
A group of journalists was allowed in recently to see items that included the resignation letter, the release in 1964 from Lee Iacocca that a car called the Mustang was coming to the lineup and old Mustang sketches.
The sketches have been pulled for the 50th anniversary and new 2015 model coming out next year.
Other items they saw included 1960s sketches of the GT40 and advertising materials from a 1925 ad campaign called "Opening Highways to All Mankind."