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Guide to the Whole Earth Catalog Records, 1969-1986 (bulk 1974-1980)
Special Collections M1045  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Note
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Whole Earth Catalog Records,
    Date (inclusive): 1969-1986 (bulk 1974-1980)
    Collection number: Special Collections M1045
    Creator: Whole Earth Catalog Brand, Stewart Kinney, Jay
    Extent: ca. 26 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Abstract: The collection contains the editorial files of Stewart Brand and Jay Kinney, reader correspondence, photographic materials, and memorabilia. Also contains correspondence, clippings, photographs, promotional material, and issues of the magazines.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased, 1999.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item], Whole Earth Catalog Records, M1045, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Historical Note

    Whole Earth Catalog and CoEvolution Quarterly
    Stewart Brand founded 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 Whole Earth Catalog went on to gain wide popularity. All editions of the Catalog sold over 2.5 million copies.
    Brand continued to act as editor and publisher of the Catalog through 1972. In 1972 he received the National Book Award for the Last Whole Earth Catalog, which was published by Random House and sold 1.5 million copies. During the same year Brand also founded the Point Foundation, the non-profit organization that runs all Whole Earth activities.
    In 1974, Brand edited the Whole Earth Epilog, which was published by Penguin. Between 1980-81, Brand edited The Next Whole Earth Catalog, which was published by Random House.
    During the 1970's Brand was also an advisor to California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. He conceived and organized "The New Games Tournament," and wrote "Two Cybernetic Frontiers," a book about Gregory Bateson.
    Between 1974-85, Brand founded, edited, and published CoEvolution Quarterly, which continued as the Whole Earth Review (1985), then later as the Whole Earth Magazine. The CoEvolution Quarterly included a mix of articles, book reviews and lists of resources.
    During the years 1983-85, Brand was the editor-in-chief of the Whole Earth Software Catalog. According to Stewart Brand's resume (see below), he founded the Whole Earth Software Review about this time, but unfortunately, it "failed conspicuously." However, it was continued as part of the Whole Earth Review.


    Stewart Brand
    14 Dec 1938 Born, Rockford, Illinois, USA.
    1954-56 Phillips Exeter Academy.
    1960 Graduated in Biology, Stanford University.
    1960-62 Active duty, U.S. Army officer. Qualified Airborne and took up skydiving. Taught basic infantry training and worked as photojournalist out of the Pentagon.
    1962-68 Created sundry multi-media performances ("America Needs Indians," "War:God") and public events ("Trips Festival," "Whatever It Is,""World War IV"), and collaborated on museum exhibits ("Astronomia," "We Are All 1").
    1966 Conceived and sold buttons which read, "Why Haven't We Seen A Photograph of the Whole Earth Yet?" Legend has it that this accelerated NASA's making good color photos of Earth from distant space during the Apollo program and that the ecology movement took shape in 1968-9 partially as a result of those photos.
    1968-72 Founded, edited, and published the original Whole Earth Catalog.
    1972 Received National Book Award for The Last Whole Earth Catalog, Random House. 1.5 million copies sold. (All editions sales were over 2.5 million; a Millennium Whole Earth Catalog came out in 1994, with a foreword by me.)
    1972 Founded Point Foundation, which gave away $1 million in three years to assorted effective individuals. Point is the non-profit foundation which runs all the Whole Earth activities. (It no longer has money to give away, alas.)
    1973 Conceived and organized "The New Games Tournament," which resulted in two books, New Games and More New Games, by Andrew Fluegelman.
    1974 Authored Two Cybernetic Frontiers, Random House---on Gregory Bateson and cutting-edge computer science. It had the first use of the term "personal computer" in print and was the first book to report on computer hackers.
    1974 Edited and published the Whole Earth Epilog, Penguin.
    1974-85 Founded, edited, and published CoEvolution Quarterly. (It continues as Whole Earth Magazine.)
    1976 Edited Space Colonies and co-edited Soft Tech, Penguin.
    1977-79 Advisor to Governor of California Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
    1980-81 Edited and published The Next Whole Earth Catalog, Random House.
    1982-83 Founded Uncommon Courtesy: School of Compassionate Skills, which gave sessions on such subjects as "Creative Philanthropy," "Business as Service," "Street Saint Skills."
    1982-83 On faculty of School of Management and Strategic Studies, Western Behavioral Sciences Institute, La Jolla, California.
    1983-85 Editor-in-Chief, Whole Earth Software Catalog, Doubleday. A magazine I founded, Whole Earth Software Review, failed conspicuously.
    1984 Founded The WELL (Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link), a computer teleconference system for the San Francisco Bay Area. It now has 11,000 active users worldwide and is considered a bellwether of the genre---1988 Community Journalism Award from Media Alliance, 1990 Best Online Publication Award from Computer Press Association, 1994 Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award. (Others involved in starting The WELL were Larry Brilliant, Matthew McClure, and Kevin Kelly.)
    1984 Initiated and organized "The Hackers' Conference," which became a TV special by Fabrice Florin, broadcast nationally. Since 1986 it is an annual event.
    1986 Co-editor with Art Kleiner, News That Stayed News, North Point Press-anthology of greatest pieces from CoEvolution.
    1986 Visiting Scientist, The Media Laboratory, MIT.
    1986-89 Consultant with Group Planning, Royal Dutch/Shell, London.
    1987 Author, The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT, Viking Penguin. Still in print (7th printing). Translated into Japanese, Korean, German, Italian, and Spanish (Spain and Latin America versions); British edition; QPB Selection; Eliot Montroll Award.
    1987-89 Organizer of private conference series on Learning in Complex Systems sponsored by strategic planners at Royal Dutch/Shell, Volvo, and AT&T.
    1988- Co-founder of Global Business Network with Peter Schwartz, Jay Ogilvy, Napier Collyns, and Lawrence Wilkinson. I founded and run the "GBN Book Club." GBN explores global futures and business strategy for 90 multinationals such as Lucent, IBM, Kodak, Monsanto, Disney/ABC, and Daimler-Benz. Most of my time these days is devoted to GBN work.
    1988 Author of "Indians and the Counterculture, 1960s-1970s," in History of Indian-White Relations, Vol. 4 in the authoritative Handbook of North American Indians, Smithsonian Institution.
    1989- Member, Board of Trustees of the Santa Fe Institute, the interdisciplinary center studying the sciences of complexity. I am involved in design of the campus build-out.
    1989 Received Golden Gadfly Lifetime Achievement Award from Media Alliance, San Francisco.
    1990-1994 Member (now emeritus but active) of Board of Directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization which supports civil rights and responsibilities in electronic media.
    1990- Advisor to Ecotrust, Portland-based preservers of temperate rain forest from Alaska to San Francisco.
    1994 Author, How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built, Viking-Penguin (US) and Orion (UK). Bay Area Book Reviewers Award. SPNEA Prize. Now in paperback.
    1995- Co-founder with Danny Hillis of The Long Now Foundation to foster long-term responsibility. The core project is Clock/Library, building a 10,000-year Clock (designed by Hillis) and information service. Also on the board are Peter Schwartz, Brian Eno, Douglas Carlston, Esther Dyson, Paul Saffo, Michael Keller, Roger Kennedy, and Kevin Kelly. Serving as president.
    1996-1997 Writer and presenter, "How Buildings Learn," 6-part TV series for the BBC. Aired in July-August 1997 on BBC2. Series directed by James Runcie, music by Brian Eno.
    1999 Author, The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility, Basic Books (US) and Orion (UK). A mosaic of essays exploring the meaning and uses of a 10,000-year "now."
    Citation: Brand, Stewart. Resume. The WELL. http://www.well.com/user/sbb/bio.html

    Scope and Content

    The collection contains the editorial files of Stewart Brand and Jay Kinney, reader correspondence, photographic materials, and memorabilia. Also contains correspondence, clippings, photographs, promotional material, and issues of the magazines.
    The Jay Kinney Editorial files span the years 1982 through 1984. During this time, Kinney was an editor and illustrator for the CoEvolution Quarterly. The correspondence is arranged topically by major subjects on which Kinney was working for various issues of the journal. The main topics include Islam, Politics and Religion, the Miskito Indians of Nicaragua.
    The Stewart Brand Editorial file, spanning the years 1974 through 1981 comprise the bulk of the collection and contain extensive correspondence, primarily from authors, illustrators, and scientists as well as some correspondence from readers. The correspondence is arranged chronologically and thereunder alphabetically by first initial of the correspondent's last name. On occasion, there are more than one alphabetical range of correspondence within the same general time span. This series also contains legal files from a lawsuit with the Walt Disney Company relating to the use of the Mickey Mouse character, as well as Brand's subject files, and a small amount of his personal papers.
    The collection contains several boxes of correspondence from readers in response to various articles in the journals. One issue which generated a fair number of responses was the issue of whether or not to publish two versions of the CoEvolution Quarterly, referred to in the correspondence as the "bold" and "regular" versions.
    The photographic layouts series contains the plastic transparencies used in the layout of several issues of the journal from 1976 and 1988.
    The collection also contains a fairly complete run of the CoEvolution Quarterly and the Whole Earth Review and several issues of the Whole Earth Magazine.