The following reviews pertain to the Joseph Smith Papers generally. Find reviews about specific volumes on the Published Volumes page.
“As testament to the outstanding value of this work, no future study of Joseph Smith, his feelings, convictions, and doctrines or of the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be done without rigorous use of the Joseph Smith Papers.”
—Richard E. Bennett, “Documents, September 1839–January 1841,” BYU Studies Quarterly 59, no. 4 (2020):193–202.
“The collection is broad. . . . Much of this material can only appear on—or is dramatically enhanced by—the site’s digital platform, which stands as a model for similar papers projects. The documents reader is nothing short of stunning. . . . In short, it is a public-friendly site that will also satisfy the demands of scholars. . . . The Joseph Smith Papers provides crucial source material for understanding Smith’s historical place as an American prophet and expands our understanding of the development of the early Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That it also does so in a web-based presentation so clear, compelling, and pleasant to use, is a laudable achievement.”
—Jeffery R. Appelhans, Review of The Joseph Smith Papers, in The Public Historian 4, no. 2 (May 2020): 124–126.
“If a single phrase might be used to describe this series, it would be ‘state of the art.’ Each published volume stands as a model both in terms of scholarly workmanship and bibliographic nuance. The series’ volumes stand as a marker of what might be accomplished in publishing stunning reproductions of original archival documents accompanied by high-quality scholarly commentary.”
—Paul Gutjahr, Review of Revelations and Translations, Volume 3, in Mormon Studies Review 4 (2017): 163–167.
“This documentary edition of the papers of the founding father of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has joined, if not displaced, leading-edge projects dedicated to more secular founders. . . . Simply stated, The Joseph Smith Papers Project is indeed a marvelous work and a wonder. Its editors are committed people of faith who are also rigorous scholars of early Mormon history and professionals trained in the best practices of the modern documentary editing tradition and who rely on the latest in modern technology and are supported and sustained by a resourceful and history-minded church.”
—Mark A. Mastromarino, “Rough Stone Rising: The Joseph Smith Papers Project,” Mormon Studies Review 2 (2015): 86–104.
“The Joseph Smith Papers (including the wealth of resources on the project’s website) is already the single most valuable resource for students of early Mormonism. . . . For their attention to detail, for their abundant citation of other primary sources, for the lavish inclusion of photographs and maps, for their contextualization of Smith’s prophetic career, the JSP is indeed a ‘great and a marvelous work.’”
—John G. Turner, “Remember, He Was a Prophet,” Reviews in American History 42 no. 3 (Sept 2014): 422–427.
“Edited according to the highest professional standards, meticulously presented, and eventually to include a comprehensive collection of extant Smith documents, the Joseph Smith papers represent a landmark in historical scholarship.”
—Cathy Rodabaugh, Ohio History 120 (The Kent State University Press, 2013): 140–141.
“The single greatest contribution of the Joseph Smith Papers Project will not be a particular volume published, but will be instead the unparalleled (though of course still imperfect) example of professional precision with which its editors analyze their material. . . .The volumes are presented in a manner to maximize the ease of access to the material for those not intimately familiar with early Mormon History. . . . The annotation is extremely helpful and the foreword and back matter integrate the content of the volume for the expert and uninitiated alike.”
—Jonathan A. Stapley, “Worth the Wait,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 46, no. 1 (Spring 2013): 200–206.
“Historians of American religion will find perusing these volumes fruitful in at least two ways. First of all, the religious development of Mormonism itself provides insight on popular religious culture and opportunities to see comparative aspects of American religions. . . . Second, Smith and other early Mormons had contact with leaders from a number of religious traditions. . . . These attractive volumes represent a tremendous scholarly resource presented effectively and comprehensively.”
—Ruth Alden Doan, review of The Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, Volume 1: 1832–1839; Revelations and Translations, Volume 1: Manuscript Revelation Books; Revelations and Translations: Manuscript Revelation Books (Facsimile Edition); Revelations and Translations, Volume 2: Published Revelations, in Journal of the Early American Republic 32, no. 3 (Fall 2012): 518–522. Abstract posted with permission of the University of Pennsylvania Press.