All Whole Earth publications online

Whole-Earth Supplement

Kevin Kelly reports the exciting news that all the Whole Earth-related publications from the last 40 year are scanned and online at

One could read back issues if you could find them. I had the privilege of producing many of the issues of CoEvolution Quarterly and some of the Catalogs, so I had my own personal library of them. (Therefore you should also discount my enthusiasm for them.) I can't tell you how many wonderful evenings I have spent sitting in my reading chair re-exploring the fantastic worlds captured in these back issues. It is impossible to pick one up and not be mesmerized, thrilled, amazed, and informed by at least two stories or reviews. There is a timeless nature to this work that is due to their anti-fashionable status. The Whole Earth Catalogs and CoEvolutions were idea-based journalism, rather than event-based. Instead of reporting on top of things, they liked to get to the bottom of things. These issues zagged while the rest of the culture zigged, only to zag later.

The good news is that all this goodness is now online. Danica Remy and the last holdouts of the old Point Foundation, publishers of the Catalogs and magazine until its last issue in 2002, have given a second life to this gold mine of material by arranging them to be scanned and posted online. The entire 35-year archive of Whole Earth Catalogs, Supplements, Reviews and CoEvolutions are all up and ready to be studied. You can read them for free, or download them for a fee.

The Whole Earth Catalog Archive


  1. I have about 40 copies of issues of Whole Earth Review, I treasure them. It’s great that all this is now available online, but that Flash format sucks.

  2. The whole earth catalog was one of my formative documents. Everything I wanted to know was in there somewhere. And everything else was in the world book encyclopedia.

    Fantastic news! I wonder if my kids’ll care

  3. That’s wonderful!

    There have been some amazing articles in the WEQ, WER, et al, through the years.

    I keep a copy of The Last Whole Earth Catalog in my cubicle at work, just to remind me that there’s more to life than product deadlines.

  4. Oh My God. They SCANNED IN the whole 1971 catalog. Browsing through that thing is like stumbling on a sub-index to the Encyclopedia Galactica.

    “We are as gods and might as well get used to it. So far, remotely done power and glory as via government, big business, formal education, church has succeeded to the point where gross obscure actual gains. In response to this dilemma and to these gains a realm of intimate, personal power is developing power of the individual to conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested. Tools that aid this process are sought and promoted by the WHOLE EARTH CATALOG.” — Stewart Brand

  5. #1 icky2000

    Yes, it’s an elaborate autopastiche/self parody. The little bubble at bottom left says “Drawn by ‘southpaw’ Crumb”

  6. This is indeed wonderful news. My old copies are reaching relic condition, where every time I open them a page or two comes loose.

    Everyone should do themselves a favor and search for and read “Divine Right’s Trip” over on the Whole Earth site. It is quasi-autobiographical and author Gurney Norman mailed in each page/chapter as he finished it on the road. That’s right kiddies, he wrote a novel without the ability to go back and edit what he had written already. Not easy.

  7. by the way, you can also follow on Twitter,

    AND you can register and purchase PDF versions of each WEC/CQ/WER.

    we are currently looking at other ways to expand the site and bring more WE goodness to everyone. you would not believe all of the stuff that we have in the warehouse. pictures, stories, etc. it’s amazing, and we want to share it all.

  8. Very cool, though it doesn’t appear that all of every issue is there. And I’m wondering if all of the unpublished last issue of Whole Earth Review will be posted?

  9. 2wheels @ 8:

    I read DR’s trip as a teen, soon after reading Catcher in the Rye. I had no idea this was how it took form.

    What’s the story of Krassner’s Tongue Fu, though?

    As I flip through looking for episodes of TF in the Epilog, I see solar heating for houses, and think — if only, if only, if only W.E. had been mainstream, would we have global warming?

  10. Now someone needs to scan the Whole Earth- like “Computer Lib/Dream Machines” by Ted Nelson. I need it. NEED IT.

  11. #10: The site appears to be a work in progress.

    Lots of issues are scanned in as images, with no indexing. There are also articles in text-file form. And I thought I caught a PDF in there as well.

    Ideally it would all be indexed. At least the WER/WEQ/WE articles.

  12. DEVOPHILL said:

    Now someone needs to scan the Whole Earth- like “Computer Lib/Dream Machines” by Ted Nelson. I need it. NEED IT.

    I’ll second that, used/abused copies sell for way too much, and are proof that the book could probably be republished and atleast cover costs.

    I’d prefer to see it republished though, as I’d hate to have to turn my monitor over to read the second half of the book! ;^)

  13. I can finally forgive my brother for stealing and then losing my enormous collection of Whole Earth stuff. Just forgive, not forget. I never got around to replacing any of it. Seeing it is like opening up a wing of my brain that got walled off in 1982.

    Actually, I think I’m gonna pay a homeless guy to urinate on my brother’s rose bushes, in celebration of this discovery.

  14. I’m going to venture the conclusion that the only people on Earth who don’t hate Flash interfaces are those who are actively developing Flash interfaces for a living.
    What a shame to have so much wisdom hidden behind a wall of Stupid.

  15. #18: ROSSINDETROIT, (and anyone else wondering) the good news is that they have also posted HTML versions of everything – even in a somewhat RESTful way.

    You can browse by category down the right of the main page, Google through the back catalogue, or, if you’re looking for a back issue, there is no table of contents, but:

    Works (substitute the issue number at the end for the one you want).

    So yeah, the Flash does represent a serious wall of stupid, but at least there is a way around, even if not immediately obvious.

  16. Wow, talk about a blast from the past. I remember reading the Whole Earth Catalog in the local library, it had to be in 1970 – ’71. The librarian was really cool, and she got not only the WEC but also underground comics from California and Canada. My eyes were opened, as I didn’t know anyone who was outside of the mainstream, which I knew was a mess, what with the war, waste, consumer culture, etc. The WEC was like a Sears catalog crossed with Popular Mechanics, only different. And better. They were talking about solar power, sustainable lifestyles, alternative housing, locavore, etc. etc. And what did the culture go for? SUV’s, 6,000 square foot single family ‘houses’, American Idol, Wall Street, more war. Go figure. Are we ever gonna’ learn?

  17. Morgan’s Tarot. The Domebook. I can’t count the number of wonderful things I discovered through the Whole Earth Catalog.

    This is an important archive.

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