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Brand (Stewart) papers
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Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Related Materials

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Stewart Brand papers
    creator: Brand, Stewart
    source: Brand, Stewart
    Identifier/Call Number: M1237
    Physical Description: 53 Linear Feet (120 manuscript boxes, 4 flat boxes, 17 seven-inch reels, 15 audiocassettes, 140 micro-cassettes, 3 hard disk cartridges)
    Date (inclusive): 1954-2000
    Abstract: The Steward Brand papers contains correspondence, personal journals, manuscripts, photographs, project records, articles, and publications.
    Physical Location: Special Collections materials are stored offsite and must be paged 36 hours in advance. For more information on paging collections, see the department's website: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/spc.html.

    Biographical / Historical

    Writer, editor, entrepreneur, and futurist Stewart Brand was born December 14, 1938 in Rockford, Illinois. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and attended Stanford University where he studied biology with Paul Ehrlich. After graduating he joined the U.S. Army and was trained as a parachutist and later photographer. He studied design at the San Francisco Art Institute and photography at San Francisco State. In 1962, Brand took his first LSD trip in 1962 under the guidance of James Fadiman at the International Foundation for Advanced Study in Menlo Park. In the mid-60s Brand co-produced the Trips Festival as well as other happenings such as America Needs Indians. He was loosely associated with the Merry Pranksters, USCO, and other countercultural groups, and spent much of the 1960s traveling and visiting communal experiments.
    Brand created the original Whole Earth Catalog in 1968 to provide practical information on tools that would be useful for people creating and living in communes. The Catalog went on to gain wide popularity. In 1972 he also co-founded the Point Foundation, the non-profit organization that runs all Whole Earth activities. Between 1974-1985, Brand founded, edited, and published CoEvolution Quarterly, which continued as the Whole Earth Review (1985), then later as the Whole Earth Magazine. Brand was also the editor-in-chief of the short-lived Whole Earth Software Catalog, and in 1984 he organized the first Hacker's Conference in Marin County. The following year, Brand and Larry Brilliant founded The WELL ("Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link"), a prototypical online community inspired by Douglas Engelbart's Augmentation work; Brand had been a camera operator for "The Mother of All Demos" in 1968.
    After getting involved with MIT's Media Lab and organizing strategic planning conferences for various corporations, Brand was one of the founders of the business consulting firm Global Business Network. GBN's parent company the Monitor Group was acquired by Deloitte in 2013. Brand's most recent venture has been with the Long Now Foundation, which promotes long-term thinking through a number of projects including the construction of a millenial clock.
    His books include The Clock Of The Long Now (1999), How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built (1994) and The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT (1987). In Two Cybernetic Frontiers (1974), which focused on Gregory Bateson and cutting-edge computer science, he coined the term "personal computer." His most recent book is 2009's Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto.

    Scope and Contents

    The Stewart Brand papers are arranged in the following order:
    Series I, Boxes 1-16: Correspondence, 1954-1994
    Series II, Boxes 17-22: Personal notebooks, datebooks, address books, 1955-1999
    Series III, Boxes 23-29: Biographical, 1952-1997; Series IV, Boxes 30-107: Projects, 1967-2000
    Series V, Boxes 108-116: Miscellaneous (includes newspaper/magazine articles)
    Series VI, Boxes 117-119: Media
    Series VII, Boxes 120-124: Business records, 1962-1993 ((RESTRICTED)

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research, with the exception of Series VII: Business Records, which are closed until 2050 or after Brand's death. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use. Audiovisual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy. Selected audiovisual material has been transferred and is available digitally.

    Conditions Governing Use

    While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], Stewart Brand Papers (M1237). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Stewart Brand, 2001. Accessions 2001-163 & 2017-252 (closed until processed)

    Related Materials

    Stanford Special Collections holds many collections related to Brand, including the following:
    Interview with Stewart Brand in Bucky Conversations: Conversations on the Life and Work of an Enigmatic Genius, 2002-2003 (M1915) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/fr963yt9378
    Gerd Stern papers (M1954) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/10176361
    Zach Stewart papers, 1964-1974 (M2206) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/11953459
    Whole Earth Catalog records, 1969-1986 (M1045) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/4320145
    Point foundation records, 1964-1975 (M1441) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/5704614
    Global Business Network records, circa 1988-2012 (M1958) Closed until processed
    Fred Turner papers, 1968-2011 (SC1146) https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/10287606

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Moss, Rose
    How Buildings Learn
    Kesey, Ken
    Santa Fe Institute (Santa Fe, N.M.)
    Coevolution Quarterly
    Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link
    Engelbart, D. C., 1925-2013
    Brando, Marlon
    Brand, Stewart
    Whole Earth Catalog
    Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster)
    Brand, Stewart
    Sausalito (Calif.)
    Western Behavioral Sciences Institute
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Media Laboratory
    Learning Conference
    Global Business Network
    Long Now Foundation
    Point (Foundation)