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Joseph Smith Papers Now More Accessible to Mobile Users Twitter Facebook Print E-mail
Written by Sharon Howell   
Monday, 29 December 2014

In early December 2014, The Joseph Smith Papers Project announced the publication of the third volume of its Documents series. At the same time,, announced that the Project also updated the content and the website has a new look and feel.

With the upgrade to, the rich legacy of Joseph Smith becomes more usable and accessible to mobile users. Both content and functionality bring the full endeavor together as never before.

With more than twenty percent of site traffic coming from mobile devices, senior project manager Ben Godfrey said, “One of our goals was to improve the experience for mobile users whether they are looking for original sources for scholarly work, or preparing a Sunday School lesson.”

As a mobile user, you will find the site intuitive. The series list and supplementary menus open from an icon in the upper right, expand to show more selection options, and then collapse to provide more viewing area while a document remains open. Similarly, the search box opens from the magnifier icon, is present when needed, and then contracts to free up screen area for viewing.

Advanced search capabilities and more accurate relevance sorting allow you to find content quickly whether you are using key words, a phrase, a topic, or a pre-built finding aid. According to Brother Godfrey, this is possible because the JSP documentary editing project uses an industry standard XML encoding methodology to “capture rich contextual relationships.” For example, a search on Hyrum Smith brings up content where the name exists, and also content where he is mentioned as a brother, father, or son without explicitly saying so. The reference is tagged and becomes searchable. The same logic rules designate priorities for search returns. A journal with Lucy Mack Smith in the title, for example, is more relevant than an article where she is mentioned in the text only once, and less relevant than where she is mentioned several times.

According to Alison Palmer, editor on the Project team, some of the most valuable resources in the collection are the “more robust and choice supplementary aides.” This includes biographies, maps, and chronologies that put people and events into perspective as the record unfolds. Additions to the video library and, for the first time, new links to video content on other Church websites also enrich the record.



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