Ford Motor Company

Winthrop’s work involves 20 years of archival work, international offices and a comprehensive oral history.

In 1996, Ford contracted with Winthrop to investigate options for management of its archival materials held in the Industrial Archives (4,000+ cu. ft.), a warehouse in Highland Park, in Company files and at the Research Center of the Henry Ford Museum (5,600+ cu. ft. donated in 1964).  A reconnaissance was conducted and a report was prepared which included "best practice" analyses of similar-sized archival repositories. The report led to a complete overhaul of how Ford views the archives and Winthrop maintains a presents on Ford's archival team to this day.

Two years later, Ford engaged Winthrop to undertake a pilot study on its Global Archives Initiative.  This work involved reviewing and analyzing information about records-keeping in two international offices.  Ford-Werke in Cologne Germany and Ford Motor Company in Geelong Australia were selected as the sites for the pilot study.  Data was gathered about records with archival potential, records-keeping procedures and storage facilities.  In addition, Winthrop obtained information about the records typically maintained by business archives, access policies and laws governing business records in the respective countries.  The information was used to prepare a series of recommendations relative to management of archival records on a global basis, including coordinating procedures, and securing and regaining intellectual control of the archival records.  Ford approved Winthrop’s recommendations and authorized the Ford Archivist to oversee and direct the Global Archives Initiative. 

In 2015, Ford invited Winthrop to initiate a well-researched professionally-produced oral history project by interviewing more than 30 members of Ford’s senior management who have worked closely with a recently retired Executive Chairman.  Deliverables will include high-quality audio recordings, interview transcripts (paper and electronic copies), and an interface that allows for integrated search of text and audio.