Outdoor Recreation Archive

Outdoor Recreation Archive, colorful illustration of mountaineers

In 2017, USU Special Collections and Archives (SCA) partnered with the College of Agriculture and Applied Science's Outdoor Product Design and Development (OPDD) program to develop a historical collection of books, catalogs, periodicals, photographs, and manuscripts documenting the history of outdoor gear. Known as the Outdoor Recreation Archive, its mission and scope are as follows:


The mission of the Outdoor Recreation Archive is to document the history of the people, products, and brands of the outdoor industry through unpublished documents, published materials and audio/visual materials. We strive to make those materials widely accessible to the public, including Outdoor Product Design and Development students, academics, enthusiasts, industry (including marketing and design), and others with interest in the history of outdoor gear.



  • Unpublished documents including: correspondence, financial records, patents, product sketches, technical documents, meeting minutes, annual reports, and company history.
  • Published materials including: catalogs, magazines, newsletters, workbooks, marketing material, posters, company histories, books.
  • Audio/visual materials including: interviews, promotional and instructional film/video, and photographs.


  • The development of outdoor gear, including clothing, hardgoods, and softgoods.
  • Non-motorized activities, including, but not limited to: Tent camping, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, Nordic skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, telemark, day hiking, backpacking, rock or ice climbing, trail running, mountaineering, alpinism, kayaking, rafting, canoeing, and mountain biking.
  • The history or operation of an outdoor gear company.
  • Outdoor industry founders, key players, and employees

Not collecting

  • Objects
  • Landscape photography

Using the Collection

The Outdoor Recreation Archive collection guide is the best way to navigate this collection. This guide categorizes materials in the archive by format, including books, catalogs, periodicals, photographs, and manuscripts.

Viewing the Archive

If you find materials you'd like to view, you can do so by visiting the SCA Reading Room. Plan your visit by viewing our page on using and visiting Special Collections.

If you are unable to visit our Reading Room, many materials can be digitized for a fee. The fee schedule can be viewed on the page linked above.

Donating to the Archive

If you'd like to donate materials to the Outdoor Recreation Archive, contact manuscript curator Clint Pumphrey at clint.pumphrey@usu.edu.

You can also consider supporting our work with a monetary donation.