January 16, 2022

Available Online: Utah State University’s Outdoor Recreation Archive Gains International Recognition

From Utah State University:

Utah State University’s Outdoor Recreation Archive, a collection of the outdoor industry’s catalogs and magazines, has grown from just a few documents gathered in 2018 to a one-of-a-kind collection that has gained national and international recognition.

Housed in USU’s Department of Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education (ASTE) and in collaboration with the Merrill-Cazier Library Special Collections and Archives, the project got its start when Professor Sean Michael had an idea to start a collection of early documents in the outdoor industry. After approaching Clint Pumphrey, special collections curator, about the idea the project was turned over to Chase Anderson, coordinator for ASTE’s outdoor product design and development (OPDD) program and the effort to collect documents was launched in March of 2019. Pumphrey and Anderson have turned the idea into a physical and online archive of magazines, catalogs, sketchbooks, patents, and more industry artifacts.

“We’ve come a long way from where we started,” said Anderson. “Initially there was a donation of 1,200 catalogs to get us started, and today we have around 2,700 from over 200 different companies.”

Catalogs from household names like Patagonia, The North Face, L.L. Bean, and Eddie Bauer, are featured in the collection.

“Our main goal was to develop a catalog collection from the 1960s to the present,” said Pumphrey. “We’ve more than doubled the collection, and now we’ve started collecting other materials.”


The full archive is accessible at libguides.usu.edu/outdoorcatalogs, or follow the collection’s Instagram account @outdoorrecarchive.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.