Joseph Smith Papers Job Opening!

By December 9, 2009

I ran into Reid Neilson earlier this week and he mentioned that a job would be opening up at the JSPP. He recently emailed me the job description to post here for all interested.  Good luck to all applicants!

Historian/Documentary Editor, Joseph Smith Papers Project-0900581

Application Process


The Joseph Smith Papers Project is engaged in producing a comprehensive edition of Joseph Smith documents featuring complete and accurate transcripts with both textual and contextual annotation. The scope of the project includes Joseph Smith’s original correspondence, revelations, journals, historical writings, sermons, legal papers, and other documents.  Besides providing the most comprehensive record of early Latter-day Saint history they will also provide insight into the broader religious landscape of the early American republic.  The Joseph Smith Papers Project is ready to hire a historian/documentary editor with the appropriate academic training, research and writing skills to edit Joseph Smith’s papers.


• 30% Document analysis: bibliographical and physical description; provenance and custodial history; research regarding textual and documentary intention, production, transmission, and reception; composition of source notes and historical introductions.
• 30%–Routine annotation: research coordination with project chronologists, cartographers, and genealogists; research and writing for chronological, geographical, and biographical notes, as well as glossary entries, organizational charts, and other forms of routine annotation.
• 30%–Explanatory annotation: general research in the relevant sources available for the volume’s period; general research regarding the major issues recurring in the volume’s documents; research and writing of footnotes to clarify, explain, or illuminate passages that are unclear, challenging, or otherwise problematic.
• 5%–Teamwork: regular participation in volume team meetings to address historical issues, coordinate research efforts, and correlate editorial treatment; occasional participation in project committees to expand or refine project resources, confront and solve new editorial problems as they arise, develop the project website, or address other project needs.
• 5%–Professional development: keeping abreast of Joseph Smith biography and early Mormon history, attending and participating in selected academic conferences on an annual basis; serving occasionally in professional associations.


PhD in history, religious studies, or related discipline.  Understanding of antebellum American history and major social and political themes of the time.  Demonstration of excellent writing skills, typing proficiency and facility with current technical tools for data management and production.  As the highest professional standards of documentary editing are expected of the position, including a rigorous production schedule, the applicant must exhibit the ability to work in an academic environment that requires personal initiative and collaborative competence in all aspects of the project. Professional and personal integrity required to maintain the trust and confidence of professional colleagues, department supervisors, and archivists working in other public and private repositories. Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and worthy to hold a temple recommend.

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. Is political science a related discipline?

    Comment by Chris Henrichsen — December 10, 2009 @ 1:26 am

  2. By Ph.D., do they mean high school diploma and a willingness to work ten times harder than anybody else?

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — December 10, 2009 @ 1:29 am

  3. “a job would be opening up at the JSPP”

    Is this position to replace someone? (If so, who?) Or is it a new position altogether?

    Comment by Hunter — December 10, 2009 @ 1:52 am

  4. Ardis,

    You would be perfect for this.

    Comment by Chris Henrichsen — December 10, 2009 @ 8:25 am

  5. Chris, I think it would be worth your while to apply.

    Hunter, my understanding is that it’s a new slot, not a replacement. They’re just trying to get a new PhD. on the staff.

    Comment by David G. — December 10, 2009 @ 10:31 am

  6. How about Chemistry?

    Comment by J. Stapley — December 10, 2009 @ 11:27 am

  7. I vote to hire both Stapley and Ardis!

    Comment by kevinf — December 10, 2009 @ 11:49 am

  8. What is the pay?

    Comment by Michael — December 10, 2009 @ 12:02 pm

  9. If you have to ask …

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — December 10, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

  10. …you AND your family can barely live on it!

    Comment by Velikye Kniaz — December 10, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

  11. Would one have to relocate?

    Comment by SC Taysom — December 10, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

  12. Last time I was at the Archives chatting with the JSPP staff it was quite evident that they are perpetually slammed. They have a tremendous work-load. Hopefully this will help that.

    Comment by J. Stapley — December 10, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

  13. I like all the participants I know from JSPP. I’m delighted to hear there’s another opening, and I think they’d benefit greatly from Ardis’s contributions.

    Chemistry is inseparable from religion, Staples.

    Comment by smb — December 10, 2009 @ 7:41 pm


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