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Hospitality Industry Archives
Get to know the hospitality industry's history.
Hilton College's Hospitality Industry Archives—a unique and wide-ranging collection of hospitality leaders' and leading brands' corporate and personal papers, historical documents and memorabilia—attract scholars, educators, hospitality-industry professionals and media outlets from around the world. The archives, prominently displayed within the Massad Family Library Research Center, are the largest repository of the hospitality industry and offer a telling glimpse into the industry's history and growth.
First established at the College in 1989, the Hospitality Industry Archives now include more than 3,000 linear feet of material, much of it devoted to the history of Hilton Hotels. The Hilton collection provides an in-depth look at the evolution of the Hilton brand, from its modest beginnings in the early 20th century to its status as Hilton Worldwide today. In addition, the archives include reports, memorabilia, advertising, publications and more for other hospitality companies, such as Marriott International, Howard Johnson, Walt Disney and Carlson Hospitality Worldwide. In addition, the archives contain the personal and corporate papers of Conrad, Barron and Eric Hilton. Corporate papers and memorabilia from Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor inductees and papers from the American Hotel & Lodging Association also are archived here. Additionally, the Hospitality Industry Archives contribute to the M.D. Anderson Library's digital collection, which includes 19th century menus.
News outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, as well as historians, authors and scholars, all have relied on these archives to provide a rich, thorough history of the industry. The archives have contributed to books on hotel history, scholarly articles and news reports. Even producers of the television show "Mad Men," which is set in the 1960s, have turned to the College's archives to lend authenticity to the script when introducing a new character—Conrad N. Hilton—to the show.
Popular items in the archives have included Hilton advertisements through the decades and Conrad N. Hilton's Stetson.
In February 2010, the archives moved to a new, contemporary space as part of the Massad Family Library Research Center. Nick ('73) and Vicki Massad (Hon. '03) of Houston-based American Liberty Hospitality and their family donated $1.5 million to enhance the library and archives. This is the largest gift ever presented to the College from a source other than the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Nick, who has a passion for history, and his three children are all Hilton College alumni and Vicki is an honorary alumna.
Contribute to the Collection
The Hospitality Industry Archives seeks historically significant corporate and personal papers, histories and industry memorabilia. To contribute, contact Dr. Mark Young.
Mon – Fri: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tours are available by appointment only. Limited hours in between semesters and holiday breaks. Closed on weekends and during campus holidays.
2nd floor of South Wing, S210
Dr. Mark E. Young
Archivist & Historian