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ISHA Brings History Alive

What is ISHA?

The International Skiing History Association (ISHA) is a not-for-profit corporation, whose mission is to preserve and advance the knowledge of ski history and to increase public awareness of the sport’s heritage. As a 501(c)(3) public charity, all contributions to ISHA are tax-deductible.

Almost two thousand skiers belong to ISHA. They hail from many nations,though mostly from the United States. Members are defined by their love of the sport and its rich past.

ISHA's mission has been enthusiastically endorsed by many former World Cup and Olympic champions, including Jean-Claude Killy, Billy Kidd, Penny Pitou, Nancy Greene Raine and the late Stein Eriksen. Members include distinguished members of the FIS, 10th Mountain Division, the U.S. and Canadian national Halls of Fame, resort and industry pioneers, authors, historians and filmmakers. But you needn’t be a ski-world insider to belong. It merely takes an interest in this most beautiful of sports.

ISHA preserves and increases awareness of the sport’s heritage through our skills and long experience in editing, research and publishing. We aren’t a museum. We don’t own a physical collection of antique ski gear and clothing. Our role in preserving ski history is unique.

ISHA publishes a bimonthly magazineSkiing History, filled with lively, carefully researched stories and stunning images from skiing’s past, prepared by the sport’s most experienced, most respected writers and editors. Enthusiastically read six times a year by several thousand subscribers, researchers, hall-of-fame members, and skiers around the world, Skiing History is recognized as the world’s best periodical of ski history published in any language.

We make ski history accessible to thousands of enthusiasts on the Internet, operating the world’s most-visited website of information about the sport’s past. The website contains a timeline of ski events going back to 5,000 BC, histories of ski shapes, waxing, plastic boots, the steel edge, skating in cross-country, women’s jumping, the World Cup, NASTAR, and much more. There’s an index to 7,000 ski books and films, and to ski magazines published since the middle of the 20th century. You’ll also find the gateway, via Google Books, to viewing past issues of Skiing Heritage and Snow Country magazines.

We present annual awards to the authors of ski history books and to journalists, filmmakers, TV and radio broadcasters, and Website creators who have devoted their professional lives to recording the sport’s history. In the past ten years, we have handed out lifetime broadcasting achievement awards to Tim Ryan, Bob Beattie, Billy Kidd and Greg Lewis; film-making honors to Dick Barrymore, Roger Brown and German documentary maker Richard Rossman; and book awards to historians Roland Huntford (United Kingdom), Karin Berg and Thor Gotaas (Norway), E. John B. Allen (United States) and many more.

We hold an annual gathering, Skiing History Week, which brings together skiers to celebrate the sport’s history in historic ski towns, broadening local interest in the sport’s heritage.

The website and the magazine constitute invaluable resources for educators, researchers, writers, students, and the general public seeking to learn more about the sport’s legacy.


History

The International Skiing History Association (ISHA) is a 501-( C )-3 educational non-profit corporation.

ISHA was founded in 1991 by the late Mason Beekley, who amassed what is believed to be the world’s largest private collection of ski books and art. The collection opened to the public for the first time in December 2003 in a newly-created museum in Mammoth Lakes, California.

The founding of ISHA and the idea for a magazine of ski history came from Mason Beekley’s belief that, by the 1980s, the need for a rational and complete record of American skiing history had reached the tipping point.

In 1990, Beekley gathered a number of individuals whom he believed would share his vision for a skiing history organization assembled a group of “founders.” By November 1, 1990 he had convinced 36 prestigious prospects to become ISHA founders “to encourage and promote sharing, organizing, preserving, archiving, collecting and disseminating every aspect of the history of skiing.”

A May 1991 meeting of founders in Hanover, New Hampshire led to the founders’ list growing to 102 individuals. This meeting followed the Winter 1991 issuance of the Snow News newsletter as “The Official Journal of the International Skiing History Association.”

The first Skiing Heritage Week (now known as Skiing History Week) was held in 1992. The name Snow News was replaced by Skiing Heritage in 1993 and Morten Lund was hired as editor. The Fall 1994 issue of the journal carried the first full-length article on Gretchen Fraser. Over the years, Skiing Heritage expanded to 48 full-color pages, and its historical and entertaining articles have filled many of the holes in the documented record of skiing history.

The ISHA Website (skiinghistory.org) was launched in 2001 to enable ISHA to deliver on its mission to a worldwide Internet audience. The web site is #1 on Google Internet searches for ski history topics.

The magazine was renamed Skiing History in 2013. Today, it goes out bimonthly (six times a year) to more than 2,000 readers, including ISHA members and individuals who receive the magazine through our corporate sponsors and museum partners.

 

Written permission from the editor is required to reproduce, in any manner, the contents of Skiing History or its website, either in full or in part.