Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Royal Skousen


In 1892, when John Gilbert was 90 years old, he made a statement about the process of setting the type for the Book of Mormon at the Grandin Print Shop. John was the compositor (or typesetter) for the 1830 edition of the book. He makes claims about the number of manuscript pages, the number of copies and the price, the number of ems (a measure of type width) per printed page, a comparison of manuscript versus printed pages, a description of the font, the process of receiving the pages to typeset, proofreading the title page, the decision not to correct grammatical errors, scribes for the printer's manuscript, paragraphing and punctuation, capitalization in the manuscript, Gilbert's taking work home to punctuate, and details about the signatures. In every aspect, Gilbert's recollections are either precisely correct or easily explained.