Alaska Collectors' Club

Reading List

Index of Topics

Philatelic Books

Philately Below Zero: A Postal History of Alaska, 1953-1957. by James S. Couch. Published by the American Philatelic Society. First published serialized in The American Philatelist. Softcover, 81 pages. History of many towns in Alaska.

Alaska's Postmarked AlaskaPostmarked Alaska, by Joseph J. Cavagnol. A saga of the early Alaska mails. 1957. Published by The Gossip Printery Inc., Holton, KS. Hardbound, 107 pages, many illustrations. History of the postal services in Alaska including private carriers.

Postmarks of Territorial Alaska, Third ed., by R.W. Helbock. 1986, published by La Posta Publications, P.O. Box 135, Lake Oswego, OR. Spiral bound, 238 pages, tracings and a few pictures. Lists, shows and values all known postmarks of the Territorial Period and also some background information on the towns.

Military Postmarks of Territorial Alaska, by R.W. Helbock. 1977, published by La Posta Publications, P.O. Box 135, Lake Oswego, OR. Spiral bound, 197 pages, tracings and a few pictures. Lists, shows and values all known military postmarks of the Territorial Period and also background information on the military installations and units.

Naval Postmarks of Territorial Alaska, by R.W. Helbock and Don S. Dimpsey. 1978, published by La Posta Publications, P.O. Box 135, Lake Oswego, OR. Spiral bound, 262 pages, tracings and a few pictures. Lists, shows and values all known naval postmarks of the Territorial Period and also background information on the Naval installations and units.

CENPEX, Alaska’s Centennial Philatelic Exhibition. 1967, Published by the Alaskan Collectors Club on the occasion. Paperback, 24 pages, some illustrations. 2 articles on Alaska postal history.

120 Years of Alaska Postmasters 1867-1987, by Ora B. Dickerson. 1989 First Printing, published by Carl Cammarata, Box 145, Scotts MI. Paperback, 73 pages, a few pictures. English. Lists all postmasters and post offices of the period.

Stampede to Alaska, A History of Alaska in Postage Stamps, by Ken J. Green. 1972, 24 pages, staplebound, pictures of stamps. A topical listing of stamps relating to Alaska.

Alaska’s First Free Mail Delivery, by Fred Lockley. 1966, 1972 reprint. 12 pages facsimile.

Alaska Postmark Checklist, by Richard Helbock.

Sourdough Flights, by August Koestler.

Alaska's Postmasters and Post OfficesAlaska’s Postmasters and Post Offices: 1867 to 1963, by Melvin Ricks.

Directory of Alaska Postcards, 1897-1940. by John Grainger,  Tongass Publishing Company, Ketchikan, Alaska, 1992.

The Postal History of the Yukon Territory, Canada. by Robert G. Woodall, 2nd Ed., Quarterman Publications, Lawrence, Massachusetts, 267 pgs, 1976.  An essential book for those interested in Yukon Territory philately.

Philatelic Magazines

Alaska Collectors Club: The Alaskan Philatelist. Started in 1959, ended in Sept 1973 with issue #80. Restarted in January 1976 with six issues per year; since 1995, four issues per year. Every serious Alaska collector should be a member! Write to:

Eric Knapp, Editor,
4201 Folker St., Unit C102,
Anchorage, AK 99508

Many back issues available.

Alaska Postal History Sales Catalogs

H. R. Harmer, Inc, February 22-24, 2005. The Seely Hall Collection of Alaska Postal History, 226 Lots.

Alaska Postal History, Literature and MemorabiliaHarmers of New York, January 13,14 1977: Alaska Postal History, Literature and Memorabilia. 612 lots.

US Postal HistoryRichard C. Frajola, Inc. June 4, 1988: US Postal History with large section on Alaska. 201 lots.

Richard C. Frajola, Inc. Sept 10-11, 1988: US Postal History with large section on Alaska. 304 lots.

Gimelson Collection Auction Catalog.

Person Collection Auction Catalog.

Non-Philatelic Books

Books on Alaska History

Nome Gold. By Kenneth J. Kutz: 1991 published by Gold Fever Publishing, Seven Whaling Road, Darien CT. Hardbound, 240 pages, pictures of covers sent and a few of Nome. The story of the Gold Rush told in 100 letters written from Nome 1900-1902 to a girlfriend in Missouri.

From Fish and Copper: Cordova’s Heritage and Buildings. By Nicki J. Nielsen: 1984, published by the Cordova Hiostrorical Society. Softcover, 66 pages, many pictures of Cordova. The history of Cordova.

Nome Nuggets: Some of the Experiences of a Party of Gold Seekers in Northwestern Alaska in 1900. by L. H. French.

Old Yukon: Tales, Trails, and Trials, by James Wickersham. West Publishing Co.

The Thousand Mile War: World War II in Alaska. by Brian Garfield, University of Alaska Press.

The Race to Nome by Kenneth Ungermann.

Iditarod: The Great Race to NomeIditarod: The Great Race to Nome. by Bill Sherwonit. Alaska Northwest Books.

Alaska by James Michner. Fawcett Publishers. Great, expansive rendition (in historical fiction) of the turbulent history of the great state of Alaska. A must-read if you are planning to go or even thinking about going to visit the area!

The Alaska Highway in World War II: the U.S. Army of occupation in Canada’s Northwest. by Coates and Morrison. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK. Alaskan history is different from that of other states. The 39 documents in this compilation were included because they are not widely available, have had significant impact, illustrate a point of view, and are interesting to read. On the heroic construction of 1,500 miles of road in a year and such matters as how and why the road was planned and built; the effect of the newcomers on the environment, the wildlife, and the Native people; social and sexual relations between the Americans and local people; law enforcement; and racism. The anecdotes provide humor and insights on the events of 50 years ago.

The World War II Black Regiment That Built the Alaska Military Highway: A Photographic History. by William E. Griggs. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MI.

A Summer in Alaska. by Castle Press.

Gold at Forty Mile Creek: Early Days in the Yukon by Michael Gates. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, BC. This book tells the story of the search for gold in the Yukon before the great Klondike Gold Rush. It chronicles the tales of the life and times of the early pioneers who endured unimaginable hardships in search of the big strike.

Women of the Klondike. by Frances Backhouse. Whitecap Books, Vancouver, BC. Here are the stories of those fascinatingly diverse women — entrepreneurs, domestics, nuns, doctors, nurses, and journalists — who played a critical role in the Klondike gold rush at the turn of the century.

Alaska: A History of the Forty-Ninth StateAlaska: A History of the Forty-Ninth State. by Claus M. Naske. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK. The largest by far of the fifty states, Alaska is also the one of greatest mystery and diversity. Geological forces have made its more than half-million square miles a region of breathtaking beauty and awesome contrasts. And, as Claus-M. Naska and Herman E. Slotnick show in this revised and updated edition of their book, the history and development of Alaska’s peoples has matched the diversity of its landscapes and seascapes.

Good Time Girls of the Alaska/Yukon Gold Rush. by Lael Morgan. Epicenter Press, Fairbanks, AK. Morgan offers an authentic and deliciously humorous account of the prostitutes and other “disreputable” women who were the earliest female pioneers of the Far North.

Remarkable Alaska WomenRemarkable Alaska Women (More Than Petticoats). by Cherry Lyon Jones. Two Dot Books. This book profiles the lives of twelve spirited women born in the nineteenth century, all of whom expanded women’s roles by defying the social norms and prejudices of their time. Each of these women—who arrived in territorial Alaska by birth, choice, or chance—demonstrated a remarkable determination and independence of spirit that continues to inspire new generations. Read about their extraordinary lives in this collection of brief and absorbing biographies.

Alaska General Interest

Alaska Almanac, 30th EditionAlaska Almanac, 30th Edition (Alaska Almanac). by Nancy Gates. Alaska Nortwest Books.
If you want to know Alaska inside and out, there is no better reference than THE ALASKA ALMANAC. Updated annually with facts and figures on geography, history, economics, sports, cultures, and people of the Last Frontier, this information-packed volume is a must-have for Alaskans and visitors alike. Celebrating its thirtieth birthday this year, this handy little guide is chock-full of Alaskana, from the beautiful to the bizarre. As always, the wit and wisdom of Mr. Whitekeys continues to delight readers with his wacky-but-true Alaska factoids. Did you know... Arctic researchers on the northern tundra have reported up to 9,000 mosquito bites per minute. There are 166,000 moose in Alaska. Each one produces approximately 400 "moose nuggets" per day. Alaskans are the second highest per capita consumers of SPAM. in the nation. “Gold nuggets about Alaska.” —The Associated Press.

Strange Stories of Alaska and the Yukon. by Ed Ferrell. Epicenter Press, Fairbanks, AK.
From the Far North come startling accounts of the extraordinary and the unexplained: mammoths frozen whole in a glacier, a tropical valley deep in the Arctic. This is the mysterious side of Alaska that you’ll never find in history books.

Into the WildInto the Wild. by Jon Krakauer. Anchor Books, New York, NY.
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Mr. Whitekeys’ Alaska Bizarre: Direct from the Whale Fat Follies Revue in Anchorage. by Mr. Whitekeys. Alaska Northwest Books, Anchorage, AK.
A low-falutin’ look at the biggest, wildest state in the union, from the originator of the Fly By Night Club’s zany music-comedy show.

Alaska Air History

Top Cover for America: The Air Force in Alaska 1920-1983. by John Haile Cloe, et. al.: 1984, published by Anchorage Chapter Air Force Association and Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 713 South Third Street West, Missoula, MT. 262 pages, many pictures.
History of the development of the Air Forces in Alaska.

The Flying North by Jean Potter.

Glacier Pilot: the Story of Bob Reeve and the Flyers Who Pushed Back Alaska’s Air Frontiers. by Beth Day Romulo.

The Opening of Alaska 1901-1903 by Gen. William “Billy” Mitchell.

Alaska Aviation History by Bob Stevens.

Flying the Alaska WildFlying the Alaska Wild: The Adventures and Misadventures of an Alaska Bush Pilot. by Mort Mason. Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN.
Flying the Alaska Wild is true grit stuff: a collection of fascinating stories about the rough-and-tumble life of an Alaskan bush pilot—straight from the pilot’s seat.

Winging It. by Carmen Jefford Fisher and Mark Fisher.

Airlines of the U.S. since 1914. by R.E.G. Davies.

The Flying Cowboy. by Pat Wachel.

Up in the Air. by Mary Worthylake.

Pioneer Bush Pilot (The Noel Wien Story). by Ira Harkey.

The Last of the Bush Pilots. by Harmon Helmericks. Bantam Books, New York, NY.

Polar Pilot (The Ben Eielson Story) by Ada M. & Hiram M. Drache.

Going to Extremes by Joe McGinniss. Plume Books, New York, NY.

Skystruck: Trye Tales of an Alaskan Bush Pilot. by Herman Lerdahl with Cliff Cernick.

Wager with the WindWager with the Wind: The Don Sheldon Story. by James Greiner. St. Martin’s Griffin Press, New York, NY.
Don Sheldon has been called “Alaska’s bush pilot among bush pilots,” but he was also just one man in a fragile airplane who, in the end, was solely responsible for each mission he flew, be it a high-risk landing to the rescue of others from certain death in the mountains of Alaska or the routine delivery of supplies to a lonely homesteader. Read this book to learn how a hero was born, and also how he made his courageous journey to the unknown skies of dealing with cancer.

Alaskan Aviation by Robert W. Stevens.

Flying Beats Work (The Reeve Aleutian Airways Story) by Stan Cohen.

Alaska Bush Pilots by Archie Satterfield.

Sourdough Sky, a Pictorial History of Flights and Flyers in the Bush Country. by Stephen E Mills & James Phillips. Superior Publishing, Seattle, WA.

Flying Cold (The Russell Merrill Story) by Robert MacLean & Sean Rossiter.

Alaska Airlines Story by Archie Satterfield.

Books on Alaska Geography

Geological Survey Professional Paper 567: Dictionary of Alaska Place Names. By Donald J. Orth 1967 published by the United States Government Printing Office. Hardbound, 1084 pages, 12 maps. English.
The standard work on the geography of Alaska.

Alaska Place Names. by Aland Edward Schorr, 1986 published by The Denali Press, P.O. Box 1535, Juneau, AK Paperback, 144 pages.
An update of the previous book.

Alaska Yukon Place Names. by James W Phillips. University of Washington Press, Seattle, WA

Alaska Atlas & Gazetteer. By DeLorme Mapping, 1992 published by DeLorme Mapping, P.O. Box 298, Freeport, MN. Paperback, 152 pages.
Topographic maps of the entire state, city maps of Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau, large index.

ALASKA, Vast Land on the Edge of the Arctic. by Heinrich Gohl. 1970 Kümmerly & Frey Geographical Publishers, Berne, Switzerland. Hardbound, 140 pages plus 154 pictures.
Lots of background information on the Alaskan nature, economy, history etc.

Insight Guides Alaska, 4th edition. 1995 APA Publications (HK) Ltd. Paperback, 332 pages, many pictures.
A guidebook for travel in Alaska

Hachette World Guides: Canada, Alaska, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, The Bermudas. 1967 published by Librairie Hachette, 79 Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris, France. Hardbound, 1109 pages, maps.
Old travelguide, good reading.

Sunset Travel Guide to Alaska. 1966-1980, published by Lane Publishing Co., Menlo Park, CA. Paperback, 112 pages.
A guidebook for travel in Alaska.

Dictionary of Alaska Place Names by US Geological Service.

Books on Alaska People

If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your NameIf You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska. by Heather Lend. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hills, NC.
Tiny Haines, Alaska, is ninety miles north of Juneau, accessible mainly by water or air -- and only when the weather is good. There’s no traffic light and no mail delivery; people can vanish without a trace, and funerals are community affairs. Heather Lende posts both the obituaries and the social column for the local newspaper. If anyone knows the goings-on in this close-knit town -- from births to weddings to funerals -- she does. Whether contemplating the mysterious death of eccentric Speedy Joe, who never took off his hat -- not even for a haircut; researching the details of a one-legged lady gold miner’s adventurous life; observing the Chilkat Bald Eagle Festival; or ice skating in the shadow of glacier-studded mountains, Lende’s warm, folksy style brings us inside her busy life. The author writes for Haine’s Chilkat Valley News and is a frequent contributor to the Christian Science Monitor and NPR’s Morning Edition.

The First 100 Years, by Fred Bahovec. 1989, privately published. Paperback, 94 pages, about 10 pictures. English.
The story of a 100-year old citizen of Baranof, who was from 1939-1959 postmaster there. Not much philatelic, but fun to read.

A Schoolteacher in Old Alaska, by Hannah Breece. 1995, publisher unknown.
The story of a pioneer schoolteacher going to Alaska early 20th century.

Head Winds, by Willy Lou Warbelow. 1987. Great Northwest Publishing and Distributing Company, Inc., Anchorage. Hardbound, 215 pages, several pictures, English.
Story of Marvin and Willy Lou Warbelow as bush pilots. Well written!

Empire on Ice, by Willy Lou Warbelow. 1990, Great Northwest Publishing and Distributing Company, Inc., Anchorage Paperback, 154 pages, several pictures, English.
The story of two newlyweds who came to Shungnak in 1945. Mrs. Warbelow was postmaster there from 1946-1949. Well written!

The Iditarod, Women on the Trail, by Nicki J. Nielsen. 1986, published by Wolfdog Publications, P.O.Box 142506, Anchorage, AK. Paperback, 73 pages, b/w illustrations.
History of the Iditarod dog sled races with emphasis on the women competitors.

Once Upon an Eskimo Time, by Edna Wilder. 1987, published by Alaska Northwest Publishing CO., Anchorage, AK. Paperback, 185 pages, a few pictures.
The account of a native Eskimo on their way of life.

Books on Alaska Nature

Alaska: Images of the CountryAlaska: Images of the Country. by John McPhee. Sierra Club Books.
This compelling portrait of modern Alaska pairs excerpts from John McPhee’s classic, Coming Into the Country, with the incomparable images of wilderness photojournalist Galen Rowell. Chosen from more than 10,000 images taken by Rowell on nine separate expeditions to the Yukon State, the 112 full-color photographs featured here seamlessly complement McPhee’s vivid prose. Together, text and images capture the overwhelming beauty and variety of AmericaÙs last frontier - from the rapidly expanding city of Anchorage to the heights of Mount McKinley to the vast expanses of Alaska’s frozen tundra. Truly stunning photography!

Wild Alaska, by D. Brown. 1972,1976 Published by Time Life Books. Hardbound, 184 pages.
Describes Alaskan nature in text and pictures.

Alaska and its Wildlife, by Bryan L. Sage. 1973, published by The Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd, Hamlyn House, Feltham, Middlesex, Great Britain. Hardbound, 128 pages.
Alaska’s nature at its best.

I Dream Alaska. by Natalie Fobes. Alaska Northwest Books, Anchorage, AK.
A collection of photo-essays with good imagery of Alaska.

A New, Expanded Guide to the Birds of Alaska, by Robert H. Armstrong. 1980-1988, published by the Alaska Northwest Publishing Company, 137 E 7th, Anchorage, AK 99501. Paperback, 332 pages. A field guide, well illustrated.

Further additions are always welcome!