George Kovalenko was born in Saskatoon on 1 May 1952, but grew up in Struan, Saskatchewan. He spent his formative years in the golden age of the small-town prairies, but his family later moved to Saskatoon. After high school he took up studies at the University of Saskatchewan, earning a BFA degree (1976). Kovalenko had an early interest in film and drama, and became a member of the U. of S. Film Society, and IATSE, the theatrical stage employees union. He researched all of Saskatoon's early theatre buildings, and as a consequence of this work, in 1994 he joined the staff of the Local History Room in the Saskatoon Public Library. His interest in collecting fountain pens and ink bottles led him to research writing instruments of all kinds. His articles on both heritage buildings and writing instruments have appeared in journals around the world and on the Internet, and most recently he published a book on fountain pen patents. He continues to write and conduct research on local history issues and international writing matters.