Video segment of Hershey History Center's Accession Program
The Hershey History Center's Accession Room houses historical artifacts, documents, and photographs from the past. “We are conducting a comprehensive collections audit” states Nicole Soliday. “All of what we’ve accomplished to date was started 2 years ago, so it’s quite amazing what our volunteers have done to archive these materials.”
“We document every detail of each object, size, condition, date of submission, the item then gets a catalog number, is entered into our database, it is given a location, then it is brought down to the Accessions Room for archival storage.”
Regionally Trolley Car Photograph, Hershey History Center Archive
The Accessions process is a highly time-consuming and costly process as it has to be done properly to ensure the preservation of the community’s historical artifacts. “A 24-inch archival box can take up to one day to completely process all of the items.” shares Soliday.
The reason why the process is so thorough, is there is a transfer of ownership from the artifact’s original owner to the Historical Society.
“Our goal is to complete logging all the items we currently have in the Accession Room to date in one year’s time.” volunteer and archivist Susan Mittan. “It’s very ambitious, but our hope is with community support, and some time to focus on processing all of these artifacts, we can reach our goal.” “This is something that hasn’t been done in 28 years,” says Susan Mittan.
Many of the photographs that are submitted are being cataloged and are accessible through The Historical Society’s Past Perfect Archival database. Which is free for anyone to access.
“Past perfect is a very valuable asset because when people see photographs, they interact with us, tell us the invaluable stories behind these photographs and we feel inspired seeing how much people love this area and their history.”
The Accessions Room is not available for members or the public but you can visit the Society’s Library and see photographs online with the Past Perfect database.
Making a financial contribution is really an important facet to ensure the continuation of the preservation of our history and to fund operations just like the Accessions archival process.
You can make a contribution directly to the society to support the costs of maintaining The Historical Center’s Accession Archives.