Research Policies

Downtown Hershey Print

Use of the Archives’ collection is open to all interested persons upon presentation of an appropriate form of personal identification. An appointment is not required but is suggested in order to ensure staff availability. Researchers are required to complete a researcher registration form and to sign in at the front desk. Materials do not circulate. Access to some of the records may be restricted according to the terms of the deposit or donor agreement.

Procedures for use are designed to ensure the proper handling of materials and are consistent with the Archives' commitment to preserving its collections for future generations.


In order to access the archival collections researchers are required to complete a registration form and present valid photo identification bearing registrant’s current or permanent address. Minors under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a registered adult. Researcher registrations are updated every five years.

Researchers are required to sign in daily.

Use of the Collections

Permission to examine archival material will be granted to researchers on equal terms of access. Exclusive rights to examine or publish material will not be granted to any researcher or researchers. Permission to examine material is subject to whatever restrictions may have been placed on the material by the donors or depositors.

To ensure the security of the collections, all personal items such as bags, briefcases, purses, backpacks, computer cases, packages, portfolios, folders, or envelopes are not permitted in the reading room. No food, chewing gum, mints, beverages, or containers are permitted in the reading room. Outer garments, such as coats or sweaters, may be worn but may not be draped over reading room furniture. Secure lockers are available for researcher use. Lockers are 12” W x 12” D x 35” H. It is suggested that researchers leave larger items in their vehicle.

Only pencils, portable computers, note-taking paper, and a limited quantity of research notes are permitted on the reading room tables in addition to archival materials. The Archives staff will determine what materials may be brought into the reading room.

Request items by filling out a collections request form, available from reading room staff. All archival materials must be returned to the front desk by 3:45 P.M.

The following rules must be observed:

  • Use pencil only.
  • Use only one box, one folder of records, one map, or one roll of drawings at a time.
  • Do not remove materials from their folders.
  • Maintain the existing order of records within each folder and box. If a mistake in arrangement of material is discovered, please notify the Archives staff; do not rearrange material yourself.
  • Do not trace or lean on any portion of the material.
  • Loose sheets and volume pages should be handled by their edges.
  • Material should remain flat on the table and should not be held in the hands or in the lap.
  • Cotton gloves must be worn when examining photographic prints.

The Archives cannot be responsible for patrons’ personal belongings.


Distance Research Service

The Archives staff will answer brief telephone inquiries for information, as well as written, FAX, and email inquiries. Archives staff can assist distance researchers by providing information about our holdings. The staff will also attempt to research factual inquiries or similar requests of limited scope.

Archives staff cannot perform extensive or evaluative research for members of the general public. You may be advised that a visit to the Archives is necessary to conduct research in person. Staff is not able to undertake extensive duplication requests of material for researchers who are unable to visit the Archives to examine and select materials.

Duplication of Material

The Archives will consider requests for duplicating material when such duplication can be done without injury to the material and does not violate copyright restrictions. No personal photo-duplication devices are permitted. Click Here for more information on duplication procedures and costs.

Permission to Publish

Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to the Hershey Community Archives. Researchers who plan eventual publication of their work should consult with the Archives staff.

Citing the Collections

The suggested form for use in a bibliography is:
Description of item. Name of Collection or Accession #, Box #, Folder #; Hershey Community Archives, Hershey, PA.

Oral History interview with [name of narrator], Date of Interview. Accession #. Hershey Community Archives Oral History Collection, Hershey, PA.

Letter, Milton Hershey to Mabel (Contralto) Beddoe, 5/21/1921. Hershey Trust Company Collection, Box 54, Folder 10; Hershey Community Archives, Hershey, PA.

Oral History interview with Samuel Hinkle, 6/30/1975. 91OH01. Hershey Community Archives Oral History Collection, Hershey, PA.