December 1980 Richmond Williams, Director of the Hagley Research Library sends a letter to Harold Mohler (CEO, Hershey Foods Corporation), expressing interest in assisting Hershey Foods with saving their historical corporate records.
December 22, 1981 A task force of Hershey Foods Corporation, HERCO, Inc., Hershey Trust Company, Milton Hershey School and The M.S. Hershey Foundation representatives meet to lay out a plan of action concerning the preservation and use of Hershey’s archival records. Task force members are: Ken Bowers (Hershey Foods Corporation), J. Bruce McKinney (HERCO), Dr. Richard Rudisill (Milton Hershey School), Eliza Harrison (Hershey Museum).
August 24, 1984 The M.S. Hershey Foundation agrees to hire a team of archival and records management consultants to help establish a community–wide archives program under the supervision of Richmond Williams.
February 2, 1985 Pamela Whitenack is hired as assistant archivist and begins work in the basement of 1 Chocolate Avenue.
February-June 1985 85001, a collection of 600 public relations scrapbooks (1934-1977), is transferred to the Archives and catalogued.
June 1985-March 1986 6500 unsorted photographs are transferred to the Archives. An indexing methodology is established and the photo collection is processed.
June 19, 1985 Hershey Foods Corporation transfers its collection of packaging and other historical records to the Archives. (Accession 85006)
June 15, 1987 Hershey Community Archives Advisory Committee meets for the first time. The Advisory Committee is composed of Hershey entity representatives: Ken Hatt (HERCO), Harry Heath (Hershey Trust Company), Dan Killi (Hershey Foods Corporation), Joe Brechbill (Milton Hershey School), Eliza Harrison (Hershey Museum), Richmond Williams, and Pamela Whitenack.
February 14, 1988 Hershey Museum opens a traveling exhibit, “One Man’s Vision,” based on archival photographs and guest curated by Pamela Whitenack. The exhibit travels to all of Hershey Foods’ east coast confectionery plants. Whitenack writes a companion booklet: “One Man’s Vision: Milton S. Hershey.”
August 1988 Hershey Community Archives (HCA) establishes an oral history program.
November 14, 1988 Alma Bobb is interviewed by Pamela Whitenack for the HCA Oral History Program.
May 15, 1989 HCA Advisory Committee approves a Statement of Mission and Policies for the archives.
1989 The Archives receives a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to conduct oral history interviews with 30 members of Hershey’s Italian-American community.
September 1, 1989 Pamela Whitenack is promoted to Archivist.
1990 HCA publishes “Building a New Life: The Italian Community in Hershey” by Natalie Mykyta Dekle. The book is based on oral history interviews conducted with Hershey’s Italian-American community.
December 23, 1991 HCA moves to High Point Mansion, along with Hershey Trust Company.
January 1992 HCA opens its collections to public access and establishes a reading room for researchers.
February 1992 HCA completes a finding aid to the Hershey Trust Company collection, providing access to 134 linear feet of materials removed from the Trust Company basement and vault between 1985 and 1991. The collection documents the activities of Hershey Chocolate Company, Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company (HERCO), Milton Hershey School, activities in Cuba concerning the Hershey Corporation in raising and refining sugar, early construction in Derry Township, and more.
January 1993 HCA assumes responsibility for the Hershey Chronology and creates a database for it.
September 1993 HCA establishes a collections database for the oral history collection and publishes a finding aid for the collection.
Fall 1993 HCA supports Hershey Foods Corporation’s plans for its centennial celebration with historic photographs and research.
January 1995 A&E cable network premieres a Biography episode about Milton Hershey. HCA provides most of the historical images and Whitenack is interviewed extensively for the show.
January 1995 HCA acquires Accession 97004, Paul A. Wallace’s research files for his unpublished biography of Milton Hershey.
September 29, 1995 HCA moves from High Point to the old Orchard Barn, located off of Hersheypark Drive, near Pennsy Supply.
February 1998 Pamela Whitenack and Tanya Richter (Hershey Museum) partner to present its first Elderhostel program. The program showcased the many different stories of Hershey, including Milton Hershey School, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, community history, chocolate, entertainment and lodging. Hershey Elderhostel will be offered four times between 1998 and 2002.
May 2000 Hershey Community Archives launches its first website,
September 2000 Images of America: Hershey, a pictorial history of Hershey, is published. It was written by Pamela Cassidy Whitenack and Mary Houts (curator of education, Hershey Museum).
December 2000 Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company transfers a collection of 7000+ maps and plans of Hershey (1903-1999) to HCA. (Accession 200103)
February 2001 HCA receives a Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission grant to microfilm the Chocolate Workers Local 464 newsletters (1956-2000).
2002-2003 HCA collection of maps and plans is processed with a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
2003 HCA and Pamela Whitenack play a significant role supporting the community’s centennial celebration. Whitenack serves on the executive planning committee. She serves as executive producer for the centennial video, “A Sweet Place to Call Home,” writes the successful application for two State Historical markers, and organizes the unveiling ceremonies for both markers.
January 19, 2004 HCA relocates from the old Orchard Barn to renovated space in the M.S. Hershey Consolidated School Building on Granada Avenue.
April-May 2004 Derry Township 3rd grade students visit the Archives to learn more about primary documents and how to use them to learn about Hershey’s history. Annual visits continue through 2013.
July 2004 HCA launches a revised and updated website.
October 2004-September 2005 HCA conducts eight oral history interviews to document Hershey Trust Company’s proposed sale of Hershey Foods Corporation.
September 2006 HCA receives second Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission grant to complete processing of the Archives’ maps and plans collection.
November 2006 Images of America: Hersheypark, a pictorial history of Hersheypark, is published. Author is Pamela Whitenack.
April 2009 HCA launches new website. Website includes searchable Hershey Chronology, online finding aids for several collections, and abstracts for the oral history collection. HCA also launches a blog to highlight historical events and archival collections.
January 4, 2010 HCA opens in its new location in the lower level of The Hershey Story, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue.
January 12, 2010 HCA launches its celebration of its 25th anniversary with an Open House held in its new home in The Hershey Story. A traveling exhibit highlighting the Archives’ holdings is created and displayed throughout Hershey during the year.
March 2011 600+ photographs are now available on the Archives website through the collections management software Archon.
September 2013 HCA partners with Milton Hershey School and transfers online access to the Hershey Press to AccessPA.
January 2014 HCA digitizes and makes available online Hershey’s bi-weekly newspaper, the Hershey News (1953-1964).
April 2014 HCA and The Hershey Story launch a Tumblr micro-blog site ( to showcase fun and interesting items from both collections.
December 2014 The 1982 booklet, “The Man Behind the Chocolate Bar,” is revised and updated by Pamela Whitenack. Design is by Keith Daubert. The booklet is available for sale in various Hershey outlets and is placed in all Hershey Entertainment and Resorts guest rooms.