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About Us

Alan Patera grew up in a stamp collecting family.  When he was a graduate student in Geography at U.C. Berkeley in the 1960s, he started to collect postmarks by visiting California post offices to get a postmark.  When he completed his education, he moved to a job at the US Census Bureau in Washington D.C. where he continued to collect postmarks and also began to do original research on postal history at the National Archives.  He began publishing books listing all of the post offices that had ever operated in specific states.  These books are valuable guides to people collecting postmarks and post cards as well as for historians looking for geographic names.

In 1985 Alan moved to Portland Oregon with his wife Marge and two young children Robert and Liz.  Alan started his own business to research, write, and publish books on western history. For 17 years he also served as editor and publisher for Western Express, the premier organization for collectors of western postal history. For the last 20 years he has edited The Oregon Country, a publication of the Pacific Northwest Postal History Society.

Alan has written over 50 publications himself and has edited and published books on western history written by other authors.  These books can be purchased on 

Over the years Alan’s personal collection of paper collectibles grew.  In the process of building his collection, he acquired many duplicates and collectible items that do not fit into the western focus of his personal collection.  The Collect by County website allows you the opportunity to view, purchase, and resell items in your collecting area. The county Lots sold on this website are mini-collections for that county.  There is no duplication of material within a Lot.

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