This volume is made possible through many individuals and institutions whose assistance and support span more than a decade. We give special thanks to administrators and officials of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, for sponsoring the project, and to the management and staff of the Church History Library, Salt Lake City, where the majority of the documents in this volume are located.
In addition to the Church History Library, several other libraries and repositories have provided critical materials and assistance: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University; Pioneer Memorial Museum, International Society Daughters of Utah Pioneers; Huntington Library; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University; Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah; and Special Collections and Archives, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University.
We gratefully acknowledge two women whose foundational work provided the impetus for this project. The late Edyth Jenkins Romney, of what was then called the Church Historical Department, completed a transcript of the Nauvoo Relief Society minutes in 1979 that anchored the editors’ initial work on this volume. Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, formerly of the Church Historical Department and Brigham Young University, generously shared with the editors her early 1980s research on Romney’s transcript of the minutes.
This volume was initiated in 2001 at the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History at Brigham Young University, and we thank Ronald K. Esplin, then director, for his early support and encouragement. Marilyn R. Parks of the Smith Institute provided administrative assistance. Rebecca Boyce Hughes assisted with verification of initial transcripts. Kathryn M. Daynes of Brigham Young University and Cherry Bushman Silver reviewed early portions of the manuscript, and Sheree Maxwell Bench copyedited the first draft.
In 2005 the project moved to the Church History Department in Salt Lake City, where numerous employees, interns, missionaries, and volunteers have assisted in bringing the volume to completion. We express gratitude to Elder Marlin K. Jensen for his guidance of the project. Sharon E. Nielsen verified the transcript of the Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book for the Joseph Smith Papers website, where the transcript was published on March 25, 2011. Rebekah Clark worked on the directory of biographies and helped to find and identify illustrations.
We acknowledge with appreciation the contributions of many other individuals from the Publications Division of the Church History Department. Gerrit J. Dirkmaat, Andrew H. Hedges, Robin S. Jensen, Michael Hubbard MacKay, and Alex D. Smith assisted with document verification, description, and annotation. Keaton T. Reed, Rachel Osborne, Amanda Owens, and Kimberly A. Dalton checked sources. Stephanie Steed checked sources and proofread the volume. Julia W. Ventura assisted with source citations in the biographical directory. Sharalyn D. Howcroft assisted with textual matters and permissions. Jeffrey G. Cannon helped identify illustrations and also assisted with permissions. Alison Palmer helped enter corrections into the typeset copy, helped edit the index, and typeset the index. Nathan N. Waite consulted on style and technology questions and helped edit the index. Caroline Bliss Larsen and Rachel I. Gessel helped edit the index. Kiersten Olson provided administrative assistance. We express special thanks to Riley M. Lorimer, who typeset the volume and assisted with design, editing, and managing the production process.
Additionally, we express gratitude to Christy Best for locating hard-to-find documents. We thank Ben E. Godfrey and Matthew McBride for leading the effort to design and create the website where the materials in this volume will be published. We express thanks to Welden C. Andersen for photographing the Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book and to Jason D. Loscher and his associates for scanning or photographing many of the images in this volume. Thanks are also due to management and staff of Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, for their expertise in designing, printing, distributing, and marketing the volume. We particularly acknowledge Sheri L. Dew, Laurel Christensen Day, Lisa Roper, Amy Durham, Suzanne Brady, Richard Erickson, and David Kimball. We thank Debra Xavier for assisting with marketing. We are grateful to Margaret A. Hogan for her careful proofreading and to J. Naomi Linzer for creating the index in this volume.
A number of other people, many of them missionaries and volunteers at the Church History Library, contributed to the volume presented here, particularly in researching the individuals in the biographical directory: Everett Randolph Amis, Laura Anderson, Kathryn Esme Barnes, Joyce Bastian, Carolyn C. Beard, Marlene Breti, Cathy Chamberlain, Elizabeth Crane, Karen Lynn Davidson, Kelli Skinner Eyerly, Polly Flanders, Lauren Fuller, Deborah Gurtler, Patsy Hendrickson, Virlene Hirschi, Diane Jackson, John Stuart Jackson, James Aleksandr Jacobs, Beverly K. Jones, Hannah Jung, Viola Knecht, Keshia Lai, Allison McCord, Allison Morgan, Elizabeth Joy Mott, Andrea Nelson, Caroline Pedersen, Joy Reese, Brent Rogers, Marla Rogers, Shirley Larkins Romney, Karen Schvaneveldt, Paul Douglas Simpson, Jessica Snyder, Rita Somfai, Margaret J. Stair, Mark L. Staker, Rebecca Strein, Paula Stuart, Anissa Olson Taylor, Jean Taylor, Laura J. Tropple, Amy Amelia Anne Wallace, Maurine Carr Ward, LaKay Weber, Anita Wells, Brian Whitney, Judith Ann Wight, Nola Rae Wilkinson, and Kathleen Williams.
We extend special thanks to Ann Braude of Harvard Divinity School, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich of Harvard University, Kathleen Flake of the University of Virginia, Colleen McDannell of the University of Utah, and Jonathan A. Stapley, each of whom reviewed a draft of the entire volume and offered important comments and feedback.