Benson Ford Research Center
The Benson Ford Research Center is part of The Henry Ford, which includes the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. In addition to maintaining the historical records of Ford Motor Company and The Henry Ford, the Center has holdings in other archival collections, books, periodicals, and trade catalogs relating to the automotive, industrial, social and cultural history of America.
20900 Oakwood Blvd., The Henry Ford, Dearborn, MI 48121
Telephone: (313) 982-6020
Fax: (313) 982-6244
Schedule & hours
The Reading Room is open all year, Tuesday through Friday, except Federal holidays, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Benson Ford began as a repository for the extensive library of textbooks, trade catalogues, and books accumulated by Henry Ford. In 1964, the center grew to include the corporate archives of the Ford Motor Company as well as the transactions and information about artifacts in the collection of The Henry Ford. Today the Research Center also houses documents relating to the history of the automotive industry, industrial history, and technological development in Michigan during the first half of the 20th century.
The Benson Ford Research Center reading room is free and open to the public. Appointments are not required, but are encouraged so archivists can prepare the requested materials. The Research Center has an impressive online catalog service which includes finding aids for all major archival collections. These should be consulted to find a particular collection or a particular item. Having this information ready when calling to make an appointment ensures staff will have the requested documents prepared. See: http://www.dalnet.lib.mi.us/henryford/guides.html
Parking is free either at the main lot of The Henry Ford or a smaller lot near the Research Center.
Permitted and prohibited items
- Permitted: laptops, cameras, pencils, notebooks, and note paper
- Prohibited: scanners, cell phones, pens, bags, backpacks.
Lockers are provided in the coatroom, bring a quarter and it will be returned when you leave.
Photocopying, photography, microfilming
Photocopying, copies of still images, and copies of moving images can be requested on or off-site. Detailed procedural information and forms can be found here: http://www.thehenryford.org/research/services/forms.aspx
Digital cameras are also allowed, but their usage must conform to the Center’s Digital Camera Use Policy, which can be viewed here: http://www.thehenryford.org/pdf/bfrc_cameraUsePolicy2012.pdf
The Michigan Cafe, a cafeteria style restaurant, is located inside the Henry Ford within walking distance of the Research Center. Museum admission is not required to eat here.
Free wireless internet is provided in the Reading Room.
Fellowships and Funding Opportunities
The Henry Ford offers the Clark Travel-to-Collections program for researchers looking to use the automotive history collections in the production of a particular product, such as an article, lecture, film, etc. Details can be found here: http://www.thehenryford.org/about/grants.aspx