DURHAM – The massive archives of Consumer Reports have been acquired by and moved to Duke University.
The legendary consumer protection focused organization, which operates as a nonprofit, has testing and other information dating back 83 years.
Duke announed Monday that the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library has incorporated the materials – enough to fill two tractor trailers. There is so much information – books, photographs, artifacts – that Duke says its staff will need “three to four years” to catalog it all.
The archives had bene located in Yonkers, New York.
“In our current society, where trust in institutions and the marketplace have eroded, the legacy and mission of Consumer Reports have never been more relevant,” said Marta Tellado, president and CEO of Consumer Reports. “The rich social, cultural, and historical impact of CR is essential to share not because it belongs to the past, but because it is as urgent today as it has ever been — at a moment when the stakes could not be higher for consumers, and when we must fight even harder to keep the market honest.”
In the announcement, Duke noted that CR “has played an influential role in championing consumer protections and rights in the automobile, food, health care and financial services industries.”
CR’s history includes warnings about smoking (1953), seat belts in all automobiles (1968), and stricter standards for child safety seats (1981).
“Even many longtime Consumer Reports members would likely be surprised by the nonprofit’s colorful and controversial history,” sai id Jacqueline Reid Wachholz, director of the Rubenstein Library’s Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History, where the collection will formally reside.