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.
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.
The Keyword Search button allows you to perform a general search across multiple fields for any catalog records online.
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.
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.
The catalog buttons can also help narrow down your search, by only searching with a selected catalog.