The first manifestation of the Whole Earth information service involved Stewart Brand and Loïs Jennings selling books and goods out of a truck on communes in the Southwest, in 1968. That summer they commenced work on the catalogue with a group of colleagues under the auspices of Richard Raymond and the Portola Institute, Raymond’s non-profit educational foundation. They soon moved to a storefront in Menlo Park, California, which housed their offices and the Truck Store, a shop selling some of the materials in the catalogue.
In each subsequent issue, the editors added newly available publications and new listings generated from recommendations by the readership. The Whole Earth Catalog was published biannually between 1968 and 1970, after which several issues were produced outside the official run.