Alf Engen papers, 1915-1972

Overview of the Collection

Engen, Alf
Alf Engen papers
1915-1972 (inclusive)
16.5 linear feet
Collection Number
ACCN 1006
The Alf Engen papers (1915-1972) contain photocopied news clippings and mementos gathered by Alf Engen's mother concerning Engen's international Nordic and Alpine skiing careers. Alf Engen was a United States, Olympic, and world champion ski jumper who served as a consultant to the U.S. Army ski forces during World War II. He founded the Alf Engen Ski School at Alta, Utah. Click here to view digitized items from the collection.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
Telephone: 8015818863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Engen was born in Mjondallen, Norway, the oldest of three boys. Their father died when Engen was nine years old. The boys learned to ski jump as youngsters, and became well known for their Nordic ability in their homeland. In 1929, at age twenty, Engen immigrated to the United States with his younger brother, Sverre. They settled in Chicago, where the two brothers joined the American-Norwegian Athletic Club to meet fellow Norwegians. Engen and several members of the club traveled to Westby, Wisconsin, to participate in a ski jumping meet. With his first jump in the Westby Nordic event, Engen broke the world's distance ski jump record, and was asked to join a group of professional jumpers that toured the North American Nordic circuit. In 1931, he settled permanently in Salt Lake City. His youngest brother, Kaare, and their mother, Martha, immigrated to the United States in 1933 and the three Engen brothers traveled the United States as professional jumpers, breaking Nordic records and gaining recognition wherever they went.

In 1937, Engen married Evelyn Pack, of Centerville, Utah, regained his amateur standing, and ranked among the top Nordic skiers in the world. During this time he worked for the United States Forest Service as a winter sports advisor, planning and developing ski areas in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Wyoming. In 1938, Engen was invited to represent the Sun Valley Ski Club in Nordic jumping. While living in Idaho, he performed in several movies and newsreels, and taught himself how to Alpine ski. In 1940 Engen finished first in the National Four-way (jumping, cross country, slalom and downhill) held in Seattle, Washington. He was an international figure in the ski world, having won some five hundred trophies and medals in events around the world. His first son, Alan was born in 1940 (and became an outstanding skier during the 1960s, see box 4, folders 15-20). During World War II, Engen served in the Quartermasters Corp of the United States Army at Ogden, Utah. He worked as a consultant in snow and avalanche conditions and a technician in winter warfare clothing and equipment.

After the war Engen established the Alf Engen Ski School at Alta, Utah, and became director of the Deseret News and Telegram Free Ski School. In 1948, Engen and Walter Prager were co-coaches for the United States Olympic ski team. Jon, Engen's second son, was born in 1951. Engen was inducted into the United States Ski Hall of Fame in Ishpeming, Michigan, in 1956. He continued as head of the Alf Engen Ski School in Alta until his retirement in 1989. The Deseret Ski School continued as a yearly tradition, with Engen as its director until the late 1970s.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Alf Engen papers (1915-1972) contain photocopied news clippings and mementos gathered by Alf Engen's mother concerning Engen's international Nordic and Alpine skiing careers. Some correspondence and certificates are also included. There are nine scrapbooks in the collection that cover his athletic career in his native Norway, as a champion soccer player and ski jumper, and as a United States, Olympic, and world champion ski jumper. The material within each scrapbook is organized chronologically, though several of the books overlap the same time period and are similar in content. Some items from the collection have been digitized and are available online.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Related Materials

The Manuscripts Division also holds the Corey (Kaare) Engen (ACCN 1401) and Alan Engen (ACCN 1601) papers.

Separated Materials

Audio-visual items were transferred to the Multimedia Division of Special Collections (A0391). One map folder containing maps and a poster is located in the Manuscripts Division map case.

Acquisition Information

Boxes 1-5 were donated by Alf Engen in 1988 (12.5 linear feet).

Folder 27 of box 5 was donated by Darrell Barnes on an unknown date.

Alan K. Engen donated boxes 6-9 in 2005 (3.25 linear feet).

Processing Note

Processed by Jane Chesley in 1997.

Processed by Lisa DeMille in 2004.

Processed by Samuel Passey in 2005.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Scrapbook, Correspondence, and CertificatesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1-14
Scrapbook A
1 15-20
Scrapbook B
2 1-13
Scrapbook C
2 14-26
Scrapbook D
Scrapbook E
4 1-8
Scrapbook F
4 9-14
Scrapbook G
4 15-20
Scrapbook H
Contains news clippings and records of Alan Engen's ski career in Alpine and Nordic skiing.
5 1-26
Scrapbook I
5 27
Correspondence and Certificates
Ski Jumping Scrapbook
Ski Jumping Scrapbook
Ski Jumping Scrapbook
Includes 1 bar of Alf Engen Gold ski wax in original box.
9 1
"I.O.G.T." Diploma
9 2
Alf Engen's Alta Ski School School Host Badge
9 3
Articles about Ski Jumping
9 4
"Why Cross-country?" Article by Alf Engen
9 5
National Ski Association of America Newsletter
9 6
Southern California Jumping Frog Chamionship Certificate
9 7
Colorado Governor's Cup Invitational
9 8
Proposed Winter Carnival Information
9 9
Incoming Correspondence
Incoming Correspondence arranged by date. Includes in this folder are letters from Ed Vendell; Intermountain Ski Association; Earl E. Garrity; Wolfgang Lert; S. J. Quinney; Frank Brickley; Hannes Marker; multiple letters from the North American Ski Instructors' Congress; Eugene A, Rose; Hunter Harris Jr.; Betty Braun; Anthony A. Angarano; Burton H. Boyum; W. Val Oveson; Jack R. Baldwin; Marianne Cone; Murray A. Bywater; Al & Val Pokorny and Trey & Logon Oxford; Norma Hovik Hesse; and Doug Pfeiffer.
9 10
Letter from Alf Engen to the Board of Directors of the Alf Engen Ski Museum Foundation suggesting a site for the museum
10 1-13
11 1-2
11 3
World Progress
11 4
Notes and Receipts
11 5

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Personal Names

  • Engen, Corey
  • Engen, Sverre

Geographical Names

  • Alta (Utah)--History--Sources
  • Ecker Hill (Utah)--History--Sources

Form or Genre Terms

  • Scrapbooks