The Joseph Smith Papers Project is an ambitious undertaking my scholars, archivists, and editors employed by the Church History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to provide a complete and accurate publication of all known surviving papers of Joseph Smith in one easily accessible location. All documents in the project will be published on the foundation’s website, while many of them will also be published in print. This collection will prove an incredible resource for all scholars and students of “the life and work of Joseph Smith, early Mormonism, and nineteenth-century American religion,” according to the foundation’s website.
Rather than providing a collection of all important documents about Joseph Smith, the Joseph Smith Papers Project’s goal is to provide all documents created by Joseph Smith or the work of staff whom he directed. This collection includes “journals, revelations and translations, contemporary reports of discourses, minutes, business and legal records, editorials, and notices,” as well as quite a bit of incoming correspondence to his office.
The final product will be a completely inclusive collection of all the prophet’s documents, whether considered of general interest or not. The estimated final count of printed volumes is 20, probably two published per year.
The Joseph Smith Papers Project has earned an endorsement by the National Archives’ National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) because it meets all scholarly and documentary editing criteria for the commission. A rigorous editing process ensures accuracy against the original manuscripts.
Four volumes are currently available in print: “Revelations and Translations,” Volumes 1 and 2, published in 2009 and 2011, respectively, and “Journals,” Volumes 1 and 2, published in 2008 and 2011, respectively.