The website will eventually include all content found in print volumes. Generally, documents are published on the website before they are published in print volumes; for example, the Documents series on the website has documents all the way up through June 1844, whereas the print volume for June 1844 will not be published until 2023. Print volumes, however, also include introductions, annotation, and reference material not found on the website at the time of publication. About two years after a print volume is published, this content is made available on the website.
It is currently contemplated that this website will include the following additional material not available in the print edition: as part of the Histories series, the entire multivolume manuscript history of Joseph Smith (later edited and published as History of the Church), with all draft material; as part of the Documents series, a number of certificates and other routine documents of which only samples were included in print; the Legal Records series; the Financial Records series; as part of the Revelations and Translations series, Joseph Smith's Bible revision manuscripts; as part of the Administrative Records series, transcripts of minute books, letterbooks, and other institutional records; a number of other Joseph Smith documents and closely related documents; and various reference materials including a comprehensive calendar of documents and a glossary.
New content is posted on the website four times a year, usually around 1 February, 1 May, 1 August, and 1 November. Currently, the focus is on legal records, financial records, Nauvoo city records, and variant copies of already-published documents. Eventually this website will contain verified transcripts of all Joseph Smith documents, with textual and contextual annotation for many of them.
The website will eventually include transcripts of all known, accessible documents that meet the project’s criteria as Joseph Smith documents. As of early 2022, more than 7,500 documents were available on the website, and additional documents are being added quarterly.
The Joseph Smith Papers Project intends to publish on this website transcripts of all Joseph Smith documents. Many of the documents will be verified three times (see Editorial Method) and will also include textual and contextual annotation that have been subjected to rigorous internal and external review. To make transcripts available to the public as quickly as possible, the project may publish documents after they have been verified only twice. Such transcripts are labeled as “interim content.” The label “interim content” also appear on reference materials, such as biographical entries, that do not yet have complete documentation posted on this site.
These discrepancies most likely result from the project’s use of transcription rules that focus on presenting the original text accurately and in a readable way. For example, the transcripts ignore later markings made by archivists or other people using the documents and ignore insubstantial cancellations or insertions, such as those that correct spelling. For detailed discussion of the project’s transcription rules, see the Note on Images and the Editorial Method.