Over the past two decades I have gathered many documents dealings with Joseph Smith and plural marriage. All of these are uploaded to this website, except for those that copyright restrictions prevent sharing. None of those that I have withheld are crucial and can be found quoted or referenced in my three volumes of Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: History and Theology (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2013).
Why Upload My Polygamy Database?
I have been asked why I am making my polygamy database available to others. It is for the same reason that the Joseph Smith Papers project is publishing all manuscripts dealing with the Prophet. Ronald Esplin, who served as the Managing Director of the Joseph Smith’s Papers project, explained:
Our work is not designated to defend Joseph Smith so much as to understand him. . . . If we will do that, understand him, he will come off just fine. Since he is who he said he was, his life and works can withstand scrutiny. There is no need to distort the historical record, but a great need . . . to understand it. To the degree that we do our work well, all of us will, in the future, have tools for that which we don’t have now—and have never had before—the material that will allow us to know Brother Joseph again.
An Introduction to the Documents
The documents found here are of three types. A substantial amount of overlap can be found between the first two sets of documents. These redundancies can be readily identified in the Master Index.
(1) The first set of uploads are called JSP Document Books or Bound Documents. There are 94 in all and each contains 50–150 pages of various documents that were bound together as they were acquired. The articles, documents, and manuscripts within each book have no relationship to each other, except their acquisition date. Each has an index number. The first number is the document book, and the decimal number is the page number within that document book where the specific document is located. You will need to download the entire book to see the pages within. The size of each book varies from 5 MB to over 100 MB.
(2) There are 1752 Unbound Documents available. Click on the blue index number and the download will begin automatically. (I do not anticipate additional uploads, but who knows?) Many of these documents are redundant with the Bound Documents, but hundreds of distinct documents are also in this collection.
(3) Mormon Fundamentalism Documents will also be uploaded. Click on the blue index number and the download will begin automatically.
Searching the Databases
Your browser’s built-in simple search (Ctrl + F) can be used from within each database to locate documents within them. Alternatively, the MASTER INDEX tab is an ALPHABETIZED index of the combined Unbound and Bound databases.
This index has undergone minimal review and no editing. If you find problems with it, please let me know. Email JosephSmithsPolygamy@gmail.com.
I am grateful to Gregory L. Smith, Tanya Spackman, and FairMormon.org for helping make this database available to everyone free of charge and without advertisements.
Brian C. Hales
January 24, 2015
 Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and Kent P. Jackson, eds., Joseph Smith, The Prophet and Seer (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, 2010), xx.