Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) Collection

The Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) Collection of Books was established in January 2001 with the transfer of the OWAA's special library to The University of Montana's Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library.

The Outdoor Writers Association of America was founded in 1927, when some of the nation's most notable outdoor writers gathered around a table at the fifth annual Izaak Walton League of America convention in Chicago and, either by chance or plan, shared their concerns. These communicators felt it was time to improve their outdoor writing profession and focus on the environment through their outdoor writing. As a result, nineteen communicators signed a charter and the Outdoor Writers Association of America was born. ornamental relief placed below each window of the historic School of Forestry Building at The University of Montana is incorporated into the design of the bookplate that adorns materials acquired with the fund.

OWAA members represent all media. They are magazine, newspaper and electronic media writers, editors, broadcasters, photographers, artists, lecturers and representatives of outdoor agencies and companies, living and working in the United States, Canada, Mexico and abroad. In 1999, the Association moved its headquarters from State College, Pennsylvania to Missoula, Montana.

The donation of thousands of volumes by the OWAA has greatly strengthened Mansfield Library holdings and made a substantial difference for the students and researchers who use the collection. In addition, the OWAA deposited the Association's archives to the Mansfield Library, along with a large number of photographs. These donations continue, and to honor the OWAA, a special bookplate replicating the OWAA seal was designed.