The Joseph Smith Papers Project Publication Update

By May 12, 2011

I confess to having been slightly confused about exactly what has been published in the JSP and I may be the only one, but just in case I’m not, I thought I’d put up this short summary of what we have to date. With the very recent addition of two volumes, the fine scholars at the JSP continue their excellent work.

1.  Journals, 1832-1839 (2008)

2.  Revelations & Translations: Manuscript Revelation Books – Facsimile Edition (2009)?includes full-color scans for every page in the two revelation books as well as color-coded transcriptions on the facing page?signed by all three volume editors

3.  Revelations & Translations. Manuscript Revelation Books ? Volume 1 (2011)?this version (could be considered a ?library edition?) is simply a different version of #2.  This edition does not include all the full-color scans of the original manuscripts (there are a few examples, though) but does include the transcriptions.  In addition, this version is the smaller size (like #1 and #4).  Thus, this is not technically a new volume but a smaller, condensed version of an already published volume.

4.  Revelations & Translations, Volume 2: Published Revelations (2011)?this is a new volume with new content and signed by all three volume editors.  This volume includes scans of a Book of Commandments (and text for a proposed sixth gathering of the revelations that was never completed) and first edition D&C as well as selected scans from Oliver Cowdery?s copy of the Book of Commandments with editing marks used in publishing later projects?each individual revelation is dated and the probable source text given.  In addition, revelations published in The Evening and the Morning Star and Evening and Morning Star are placed in parallel columns for comparison.  As always, excellent introductory content traces the reception, editing and publication of the revelations in concise, well-researched detail.[1]

In addition, the JSP website has some excellent offerings that go beyond these public volumes. It now has Journals Volume 1 including front and back matter and annotation. There are also documents posted through 1835. Depending on the chronological scope of the coming published Documents Series volumes, as I understand it, the documents section on the website comprises the first three or four volumes of the Documents Series, which is pretty darn awesome. I’m told that the documents on the website are in something of an “interim” form and will be improved with annotation, etc. and the transcription refined for the print volumes. There are also two minute books on the website–the Relief Society Minute book and the Kirtland Council Minute book. I’m told that at present there are not immediate plans to publish these by the JSP (though I understand Jill Derr has been working on editing the Relief Society minutes for publication).

Finally, it is hoped that additional online materials will be made available in the near future.

So, a Big Thank You to the many scholars and professionals that make all of this possible. And keep it coming!

[1] Descriptions and photo courtesy of Benchmark Books in Salt Lake.

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. Thanks for the update, Jared. Exciting stuff.

    Comment by Christopher — May 12, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  2. My understanding is that the next queued up volumes are J2, which is slated for this fall. Then Histories has been split in two and that is slated for next year. I don’t remember if Docs 1 is slated for next year or the following year (due to the splitting of Histories).

    Jill’s documentary history of the RS is slated to include the complete record of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo.

    Comment by J. Stapley — May 12, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

  3. I’m still confused.

    Comment by SC Taysom — May 12, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

  4. Sorry, Steve, what part?

    Comment by Jared T — May 12, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

  5. Let me make it clear, Steve: just be ready to fork over about $50 around once a year, and save space on your book shelf.

    That’s what I do, anyway.

    Comment by Ben — May 12, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

  6. I was just kidding around Jared. Sort of. It just seems like a really, really, complicated project. I appreciate your clarifications though.

    Comment by SC Taysom — May 12, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

  7. As a side note: did Jill Mulvay Derr have any involvement in the new history coming out from the General Presidency?

    Comment by Tod Robbins — May 13, 2011 @ 12:48 am

  8. This may help clarify things a bit. Notice in the picture that the three smaller volumes have numbers on them, while the one larger volume does not. The ordinary-sized, numbered volumes are the main set. The supersized volume is a “Facsimile Editions”–as it calls itself–of the same content that is in the first volume in the Revelations and Translations series.

    Jared, you have them in the order they were published, but in a researchers bookshelf of the future, you might put the taller volume AFTER R1 or even at the end of the edition as a whole.

    Mark Ashurst-McGee
    Smith Papers

    Comment by Mark Ashurst-McGee — May 13, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

  9. Thank, Mark, those are good points. The pic and descriptions are from the good folks at Benchmark, but you’re right, both the pic and description proceed in order of publication. It hadn’t occurred to me that that remained unclear.

    Also worth noting, each series (Journals, Revelations and Translation, History, Documents, etc) seems like it’ll have a different band of color around the center. 🙂

    Comment by Jared T — May 13, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

  10. Jared, yes, the color coded series in a multi-series edition follows in the American tradition of historical documentary editing (e.g., Washington, Madison, Webster, &c).

    Comment by Mark Ashurst-McGee — May 17, 2011 @ 9:54 am

  11. Definitely. Didn’t mean it that way if it came over as sarcastic 🙂

    Comment by Jared T — May 17, 2011 @ 12:42 pm

  12. Thanks, Jared, this is helpful.

    Comment by Justin W. — May 18, 2011 @ 10:42 pm


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