Wilford Woodruff Foundation Releases 1,500 Pages of Documents

by Diane LeFrandt Nelson

Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that publishes Wilford Woodruff's documents on the open-access website wilfordwoodruffpapers.org, has released the first transcribed documents available online, representing 1,500 pages of more than 60,000 pages of the cataloged collection to be transcribed and made available to the public over the next 10 years. 
"We are excited to offer this expansive free resource to the public," said Jennifer Mackley, Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation Executive Director. "Today's transcription release represents 1/40th of the cataloged collection, less than 3%, but includes almost 1,500 pages. Website users will be able to see images of Wilford Woodruff's original documents next to the transcriptions and understand his records better through the contextual reference material we are creating. We have included a timeline of his life, information on his family, and hyperlinks to the biographies of the people he taught and served."
"This release is the debut of our 10-year plan to make Wilford Woodruff's records accessible to the public. Every three months over the next decade, additional transcriptions of Wilford's journals, discourses, autobiographies, correspondence, and personal papers will be added. Through his records, we can better understand the process of revelation that established The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the faith it was founded upon," Mackley said.
Details about the project:

  • The mission of the Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation is to collect, transcribe, publish, and digitally preserve Wilford Woodruff's records to proclaim that Jesus Christ has restored his gospel and continues to reveal his will through his prophets. 
  • Wilford Woodruff was the most prolific record keeper of the restoration. Much of what we know about the prophet Joseph Smith's teachings comes from Woodruff's records.
  • Until now, Wilford Woodruff's journals, letters, and other rich documents have only been available in archives or limited-edition books owned by a lucky few. The Wilford Woodruff Papers Project aims to change that by putting his records within reach of everyone.

"I am thrilled to be part of this project to make available the most comprehensive collection of Wilford Woodruff's records,'' said Steven C. Harper, Executive Editor of the Wilford Woodruff Papers Project. "Few people have ever lived a life so full of adventure as Wilford Woodruff. The good news is that we know all about it because of his detailed records. And the even better news is that those records are being made available free to everyone."
The Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation is committed to making Wilford's records not only accessible but understandable to the general public. Newly transcribed documents and additional features will be added to the website wilfordwoodruffpapers.org four times a year: March, June, September, and December.
Visit wilfordwoodruffpapers.org for more information.

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