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Catalog, Whole Earth Catalog: access to tools

This is a Catalog. It was edited by Stewart Brand and manufactured by Portola Institute, Inc..

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from Kentucky Historical Society as part of Tools: Extending Our Reach.

It is dated Fall 1968. Its medium is paper.

In 1968, writer Stewart Brand launched his radical, offbeat paperback journal, the Whole Earth Catalog. A precursor of the World Wide Web, today’s global information-distribution system, the publication was a user-generated database of disparate tools from varied sources that celebrated small-scale technologies as a way for individuals to improve their lives. It was inspired by the era’s counter-culture movement, which sought a social order that encouraged individual freedom, egalitarianism, and economic independence. The cover of the first edition from fall 1968 featured an early satellite image of Earth from space with the words "WHOLE EARTH CATALOG" and access to tools silhouetted above. This iconic image conveyed a graphically powerful message of interconnectedness and the Catalog achieved cult status. By 1971, it had sold more than a million copies and included over 1,000 different entries, ranging from meditation guides and machines to potters’ wheels, camping gear, and self-help tips. It was published sporadically until 1998.

It is credited Courtesy of Kentucky Historical Society, (Pamphlet Fall 1968; 051 W628).

Its dimensions are

H x W: 36 × 28 cm (14 3/16 in. × 11 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Catalog, Whole Earth Catalog: access to tools |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=6 December 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>