2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the Hershey Community Archives. It’s a personal anniversary for me as well. On February 2, 2015, I arrived in Hershey to start my first day of work creating an archives for the corporations and community of Hershey. I remember feeling pretty overwhelmed by this challenge to start an archives from scratch. I was young, just a couple years out of graduate school, and with limited experience.
I didn’t know much about the history of this community. As records were collected, I was also building a knowledge base about Milton Hershey and his sizable legacy. Because so little had been written about Hershey, much of what I learned about Hershey came from studying the documents I was charged with organizing and preserving.
Today the Hershey Community Archives’ collections occupies over 6,000 cubic feet of shelf space. Our collections contain business records, packaging samples, photographs, maps, plans, film, various video formats, slides, oral histories and a growing collection of electronic records. It is a rich resource for understanding Milton Hershey and the history of everything he established.
In recognition of the Archives’ 30th anniversary, we will be highlighting 30 items from the collections that help us tell important stories of Hershey’s past. They’ll be posted throughout the year.
I’ve also spent some time compiling a timeline of the Archives’ history. The timeline highlights significant moments in the Archives’ growth and evolution. You can see the timeline here.
Contributed by Pamela C. Whitenack