Mormon studies, Book of Mormon Critical Text Project, manuscript analysis
When I began the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project in 1988, my initial goal was to determine the reading of the manuscripts of the Book of Mormon. There are two manuscripts: (1) the original manuscript (referred to as O), the manuscript the scribes wrote down as Joseph Smith dictated the text (the majority of the dictation was done in 1829); and (2) the printer’s manuscript (referred to as P), the copy of O that the scribes produced from August 1829 through January 1830 and took into the Grandin print shop in Palmyra, New York, for typesetting the first edition of the Book of Mormon (published in March of 1830). Oliver Cowdery was the chief scribe for both manuscripts. Today, only 28 percent of O is extant. Most of that 28 percent is owned by the LDS Church; the remaining fragments are owned by private individuals, except for half a leaf that the University of Utah owns. On the other hand, P is extant except for three manuscript lines. From 1903 to 2017, this second manuscript was owned by the RLDS Church (later renamed the Community of Christ); in 2017, P was sold to the LDS Church.
"The Language of the Original Text of the Book of Mormon,"
BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 57
, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/byusq/vol57/iss3/5