The Hershey Community Archives' mission is to preserve, organize, describe, make available and interpret
documents which promote the study and understanding of Milton and Catherine Hershey, their vision and legacy.
On December 22, 1981 a task force, composed of representatives from the Hershey entities, met for the first
time to lay out a plan of action concerning the preservation and use of the various materials of Hershey's
history. The task force members were Ken Bowers, Hershey Foods Corporation; J. Bruce McKinney, HERCO, Inc.;
Dr. Richard Rudisill, Milton Hershey School; and Eliza Harrison, Hershey Museum. The initial conclusion of
this group was that the historical records should be preserved and that there was a need for an archives that
would be accessible, yet controllable.
After an initial delay, in 1984 The M.S. Hershey Foundation hired a team of archival and records management
consultants to help establish a community-wide archival program under the general supervision of consultant
Richmond D. Williams. Each of the Hershey entities agreed to support the archival project and to appoint
corporate representatives to assist with the project's start up. Under the guidance of the Foundation, the
Archives was charged with collecting, processing, preserving, and making available for research essential
historical materials of institutions in Hershey and Derry Township. Initially the project was to have two
concurrent thrusts: 1) locate and transfer non-current archival records to the Community Archives and 2) the
establishment of a records management system that would sustain the archival program in the future.
The Foundation hired Williams to coordinate the start up of the Archives. Pamela Cassidy Whitenack was
hired as Assistant Archivist and began work in February 1985. With the assistance of the task force members
archival records were identified and transferred to the Archives. In addition, presentations were made to
various corporate divisions concerning archival records. The Oral History Program was launched in 1988, and
has since become one of the Archives’ most significant programs.
Since those early beginnings the Archives has remained true to its mission to collect, preserve and make
available the materials of Milton Hershey and his legacies. Over the years, the Archives has further developed
its programs by increasing public research hours, conducting community outreach through public programs,
exhibits, and articles in local publications and has acquired the records of community organizations and businesses.
The Archives has also broadened its services to the corporate entities by providing in depth research to
support corporate activities, providing timely access to critical archival materials, offering presentations
and educational programming for staff, and representing the entities at public speaking events.