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J Research Update K

Joseph Smith Papers Project Compiled by Brent R. Nordgren

E

lder Marlin K. Jensen, Church historian and recorder, said, “The Joseph Smith Papers

project is the single most significant historical project of our generation.” November marked the release of The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, Vol. 1: 1832–1839. Because several faculty members from the Department of Church History and Doctrine are involved in the Joseph Smith Papers Project and will publish documents created by Joseph Smith or by his staff whose work he directed, we have included information that will help our readers keep up-to-date on this important project. The project also includes papers received and owned by Joseph Smith’s office. These key documents include, especially, the diaries, outgoing and incoming correspondence, revela­ tions, contemporary reports of discourses, minutes, and editorials.

About the Volumes When completed, The Joseph Smith Papers will consist

Typical Questions

of more than thirty volumes in six series: Journals,

Why was the project undertaken?

Documents, Revelations and Translations, History, Legal

Producing a definitive, scholarly edition of Joseph Smith’s

and Business, and Administrative. Three volumes of

papers will allow increased and better scholarship on

Joseph Smith’s journals cover the years 1832 through 1844.

Joseph Smith and early Mormonism. Scattered documents

The Documents Series, in approximately eleven volumes,

will be gathered into one multivolume source, and manu­

spans 1828 to 1844. At least four volumes—manuscript

scripts of varying legibility will be carefully transcribed

revelation books, other early revelation manuscripts

and verified. In addition to making the content of these

including key Joseph Smith translation manuscripts, the

documents more accessible, transcription and publication

Book of Mormon printer’s manuscript, and published

will help preserve these delicate documents, which are

Joseph Smith–era scripture—will make up the Revelations

subject to the ravages of age and handling and to possible

and Translations Series. Seven volumes of history encom­

damage from water, fire, and insects.

pass the period from 1805 to 1844. The Legal and Business Series has at least three volumes that include records of

How many volumes will be published?

cases occurring in New York, Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois.

It is expected that the transcriptions will eventually

Administrative records will publish minute books and

constitute about thirty volumes. Publication began in

letter books.

2008, with about two volumes published each year until the project is complete.

6 B YU R EL I G I OU S EDUCATIO N REV IEW

2009 Winter Review Magazine (2.1)  
2009 Winter Review Magazine (2.1)  

BYU Religious Education Review magazine provides readers with information about BYU’s college of Religious Education, the Religious Studies...

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