Home Contact Us

Forests in Fiction Collection.

The Forest History Society's Forests in Fiction Collection consists of over 400 works of fiction published from the late 19th century through the present that range in genre from westerns to romance novels to mysteries and whose settings and story lines focus on forested environments in the United States. Some of the novels were national bestsellers written by prominent authors, and some served as the basis for films, but most works were less popular. Subjects featured in the novels include lumbering, forest fires, the U.S. Forest Service, and conservation issues. In some books, the forest simply serves as the setting for the fictional story that unfolds. An electronic catalog of the collection is accessible via the FHS Research Portal. To search the catalog, select the "Fiction" box at the top of the Books query screen.

Provenance of the Forests in Fiction Collection

Harold K. "Pete" Steen, a forest historian and former executive director of the Forest History Society, amassed the majority of this unique collection over the course of his professional career. Dr. Steen donated the core of this collection on the portrayal of the forest in popular twentieth-century fiction to the Society in 1999. Additional works of fiction have been added since this time. Students of literature, American history, or the environment should all find fascinating points of interest in the Forests in Fiction Collection.

Avalanche Patrol book cover
The Boy with the U.S. Foresters book cover
Smoke Jumper book cover
Guardians of the Desert book cover

Conducting Research in the Forests in Fiction Collection

The novels in this non-circulating collection are available for use at the Forest History Society from Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Researchers of this collection may be eligible for the Society's Alfred D. Bell Travel Grant program. For further information or research assistance, please contact librarian Jason Howard via email at jason.howard@foresthistory.org, via telephone at 919-682-9319, or via mail: Forest History Society, 701 William Vickers Avenue, Durham, NC, 27701-3162.