This paper looks at the Book of Mormon through the lens of library science and the concept of archival provenance. The Nephites cared deeply about their records, and Mormon documented a thorough chain of custody for the plates he edited. However, ideas of archival science and provenance are recent developments in the western world, unknown to biblical authors or to anyone at Joseph Smith's time. Understanding this aspect of Mormon's authorship and Joseph Smith's translation provides additional evidence to the historical validity of the Book of Mormon.
About the Author
Anita Cramer Wells received her bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern Studies from BYU, where she studied biblical Hebrew and worked as a researcher for F.A.R.M.S. She received a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Drexel University, teaches early-morning seminary, and volunteers at the Church History Library and This is the Place Heritage Park. Her prior published work on scripture is the children’s book Nephi, Nephi, The Scriptures Are True! (Deseret Book 2004).