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Welcome to The Hershey Story Museum's online collections database!

When Milton S. Hershey founded the museum in 1933, its collection focused on American Indian cultures living across the United States and North America. At that time, it was unusual for a small community, such as Hershey, to have access to such a diverse collection. We are proud to offer access to these artifacts through our new online collections database.

The Hershey Story also holds, in public trust, artifacts related to Hershey history and Pennsylvania German culture. The museum's collection is quite extensive so not all artifact catalog records are available online at this time. Check back often as new records will be added to the database.

Artifacts in the museum's collection are available for research. Click here for the researcher registration form and guidelines to access the museum's holdings in person. Archival holdings, such as manuscripts, organizational records, oral histories, and photographs documenting Hershey are available at Hershey Community Archives.

Not all artifacts in the collection are currently on exhibit at the museum.

A Note about Cultural Sensitivity and our American Indian Collection

In an effort to respect the sacredness of several American Indian objects in our collection, we have chosen to display the catalog information without an accompanying photograph. We have used our best judgement to decide which objects to display without images.

Tips for Searching

Keyword Search

The Keyword Search button allows you to perform a general search across multiple fields for any catalog records online.

  • Keyword searches use OR as the default connector between words (e.g. a search for Hershey Park will return records associated with Hershey OR Park).
  • If you want to find records where both keywords are found, type AND between the two words.
  • To search for a specific phrase, be sure to put the phrase within quotes (e.g. "Hershey Park").
  • You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard (e.g. a search for histor* would come up with records containing history, histories, historical, etc.).
  • Searches are not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search button can help you be more specific with your search. You can search for a word or phrase within a particular search category or use multiple categories to further narrow down your search results. For example, searching Hershey in the People field will bring up any records associated with a member of the Hershey family, without having to sift through artifacts associated with Hershey Chocolate Company. Phrase searching with quotes and use of wildcards (*) are available in Advanced Search.

Browse Images

The Browse Images button is a great way to just browse the collection. Each Browse Images page displays a random assortment of images from the records online. If something piques your interest, click the thumbnail to view a larger version of the image. From here, you can click "View Catalog Records" for further information.

Coming Soon! Catalog Searches (Objects, Archives and Photos)

The catalog buttons can also help narrow down your search, by only searching with a selected catalog.

  • If you only want to search for Photos, click the Photos button and type in your keyword(s) or phrase. You can also browse records within the Archives and Photos catalogs without performing a search.
  • Phrase searching, wildcards (*) as well as AND/OR statements are available when performing searches in the Archives and Photos catalogs.