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What Do We Have

Hershey Community Archives collects a variety of materials documenting Hershey’s corporate and community history. The Archives is the repository for The Hershey Company, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company, Hershey Trust Company, and The M.S. Hershey Foundation (Hershey Gardens, The Hershey Story, Hershey Theatre, and Hershey Community Archives).

Finding aids exist for many of the collections. Researchers may use the Collections Database to locate descriptions of select holdings. A consultation with Archives staff is strongly recommended to assist in identifying records pertinent to your research.

The Hershey Company Collection

This collection includes, but is not limited to, advertising, product packaging materials, financial records, annual reports, correspondence, press releases, sales and marketing materials, brochures, pamphlets, photographs, slides, film, videotapes, and audio recordings. The Hershey Company [formerly known as Hershey Chocolate Company, Hershey Chocolate Corporation, and Hershey Foods Corporation] collection dates from 1894 to the present. This collection also includes records related to the Company’s subsidiaries and acquisitions Including: H.B. Reese Candy Company; Y&S Candies (Twizzlers); Peter Paul; Leaf (includes Jolly Rancher); Luden’s; and Hershey Pasta Group. Access to portions of this collection must be preceded by a written request to the Archives stating the purpose of the research and records requested. Contact the Archives for more information.

Hershey milk chocolate bar wrappers

If you are trying to date an old milk chocolate bar wrapper, there a number of clues to help you. To narrow down a time period, use the evolution of the company name. Originally it was called Hershey Chocolate Company from 1894 to 1927. In October 1927, the company was renamed Hershey Chocolate Corporation. In February 1968, the company’s name changed to Hershey Foods Corporation. In April 2005, it was renamed The Hershey Company. Click here to see a visual history of milk chocolate bar wrappers.

Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company Collection

This collection includes, but is not limited to, event programs, brochures, marketing materials, press releases, press clippings, newsletters, correspondence, financial records, maps, plans and drawings, photographs, slides, film, videotapes, and audio recordings. Materials date from 1903 to the present. Records document attractions in Hershey such as: Arena, Hersheypark, Lodge and Convention Center, Hotel Hershey, Stadium, and the Zoo. Also documented are events and recreational activities, Hershey Bears Hockey, Dutch Days, golf courses and tournaments. Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company, [formerly known as Hershey Estates and HERCO, Inc.], operated most of the community services during the first half of the 20th Century. The collection includes records related to Hershey Estates subsidiaries such as: Hershey Lumber Company; Hershey Laundry; Hershey Bakery Company; Hershey Transit Company; and Hershey Department Store. Access to portions of this collection must be preceded by a written request to the Archives stating the purpose of the research and records requested. Contact the Archives for more information.

Hershey Trust Company Collection

This collection consists primarily of financial records, land records, real estate files, correspondence and legal documents, dated from 1903 to the present. The bulk of the records were created by: John E. Snyder, Milton S. Hershey, Ezra F. Hershey, William S. Crouse, Percy A. Staples, John B. Sollenberger, and Arthur R. Whiteman. The Trust Company Collection also includes records related to the activities of The Hershey Company, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company, The M.S. Hershey Foundation, Milton Hershey School [formerly Hershey Industrial School], Hershey National Bank, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey’s Cuban operations, and early construction in Derry Township. Access to this collection must be preceded by a written request to the Archives stating the purpose of the research and records requested. Contact the Archives for more information.

The M.S. Hershey Foundation Collection

This collection consists primarily of financial records, press clippings, film, videotapes, photographs, and slides. This collection includes the records of Hershey Gardens, The Hershey Story [formerly Hershey American Indian Museum, and Hershey Museum], Hershey Theatre, and Hershey Community Archives. The Gardens collection consists of marketing materials, press clippings, photographs, administrative records, and planting plans and drawings. Hershey Story records document: exhibits, public programming, educational programs, and general museum administration. Theatre records document: performances, classic films, educational programs, activities of the Hershey Educational and Cultural Center, and Miss Pennsylvania Pageants. Hershey Community Archives records document: exhibits, presentations, and administration of the Archives.

Access to portions of these collections must be preceded by a written request to the Archives stating the purpose of the research and records requested. Contact the Archives for more information.

Community Organizations

Hershey Community Archives actively collects the records of local organizations. Some of these collections include:

  • American Association of University Women, Hershey (PA) Branch
  • Chocolate Workers Local 464 Union
  • Derry Township Business and Professional Association
  • Derry Township Camping Association
  • Derry Township School District
  • Derry Township Senior Citizens Council
  • Downtown Hershey Association
  • Hershey Area AARP
  • Hershey Area Art Association
  • Hershey Area Playhouse
  • Hershey Figure Skating Club
  • Hershey Centennial Committee
  • Hershey Coin Club
  • Hershey Community Chorus
  • Hershey Ministerium [formerly known as The Ministerial Association of Hershey, Pennsylvania]
  • Hershey Partnership
  • Hershey Public Library
  • Hershey Volunteer Fire Company
  • Optimist Club of Hershey
  • Rotary Club of Hershey
  • Union Deposit Chowder and Marching Society

Access to portions of these collections must be preceded by a written request to the Archives stating the purpose of the research and records requested. Contact the Archives for more information.

Visual Materials Collection

This collection contains over 23,000 images documenting all aspects of Hershey life. In this collection researchers can find images of Milton S. Hershey, building construction, community events, chocolate factory production, Hersheypark, and other Hershey subjects. Researchers may use an in-house database to search for images related to their research. Select , with more added as they are digitized. Researchers can Contact the Archives to request scans of images for which only descriptions currently exist; please see our Photocopy & Duplication Policy.

Oral History Collection

This collection contains over 600 interviews. Since 1988, the Archives has conducted interviews with executives, employees, community leaders, educators and residents in order to document Hershey’s unrecorded history. These oral history interviews offer a wealth of information about Milton S. Hershey, the businesses and the community he established. Over two-thirds have been transcribed. Select . Access to the interviews is governed by individual gift agreements.

Maps and Plans Collection

This collection contains over 11,000 maps and plans that document the growth and development of the community and its industries from 1903 to the present. The collection includes United States and Pennsylvania Geological Survey maps of the region including Hummelstown, Lebanon, Lancaster and much of Eastern Pennsylvania, 1891-1974. Also included are plans developed and drawn by the Hershey Lumber Company and HERCO Engineering for company facilities, town buildings, private residences, street plans, sewer layouts, and utilities. Select . Researchers can Contact the Archives to request scans of images for which only descriptions currently exist; please see our Photocopy & Duplication Policy.

Genealogy

Most of the Archives’ collections reflect the activities of Hershey businesses and organizations. The Archives does maintain genealogical records for Milton Hershey and his parents, Veronica “Fanny” Snavely and Henry Hershey. Please Contact the Archives for more information.

A local volunteer organization, the Hershey-Derry Township Historical Society, does collect and maintain family files for local family history. for more information.