BibliographyAlaska is the subject of a plethora of good philatelic literature. First to consider is:
Postmarks of Territorial Alaska by Richard W. Helbock
A Checklist of Alaska Post Office Branches & Station 1867-1988 by Helbock
Postmarked Alaska - A Saga of the Early Alaska Mails by J. Cavagnol
120 Years of Alaska Postmasters by O. Dickerson
Military Postmarks of Territorial Alaska by Helbock
Naval Postmarks of Territorial Alaska by Helbock and D. Dimpsey
You can access my online guide of Alaska Post Offices here.
There has been a long tradition in philately to recognize the significance of and to collect territorial covers. Alaska presents a very long territorial period. It has been the subject of a number of significant works of literature. Most importantly, there is a catalog of every known territorial postmark. While it might seen that this sort of comprehensive listing proves a strong interest and ongoing demand, for Alaska and every other state where a postmark catalog exists, the market for the state is depressed. What happens is the availability of information increase prices. As prices rise, the existing collectors narrow their focus and new collectors are discourage from entering the market due to the high cost of forming a collection. This significantly limits demand, but rarely results in lower prices, since every potential knows the catalog value of every marking and choose not to sell at a reduced price that the reduced demand would indicate.
The upshot is that the market for Alaska material is "topped out". There is a very small group of collectors whose goal is virtual completion, and they pursue this goal with substantial financial resources. Demand for lesser material is not commensurate. The strongest demand is for gold rush era, pre picture post card era material. Much of the demand is from overseas.
Among the 50 states, the District of Columbia, R.P.O.'s and Streetcars, Alaska rates as the 16th state in terms of percentage of covers sold at 58.35%. It ranks 30th in terms of the value of covers sold as percentage of all town cancels sold at 1.27%. The overall rank is 19th. This is a ten year running average. The most recent trends are decreasing sharply.
Covers For Sale
Search for a specific Alaska town. Type in the name below and press enter or click on search.
If you'd like printable version of these covers, please e-mail me.