Sacred portraits: Photographer makes images for JSP project
witness," said Elder Paul K. Sybrowsky, assistant executive director of
the Church History Department. "It brings you closer to the Prophet
Joseph and to these foundational scriptural texts."Andersen does his work in an expansive photo studio deep in the
bowels of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake
City. "There is always somebody from (the Church History) department
with them at all times," Andersen said of the documents he is working
with. "They don't ever just lock the door and leave them behind to go
Robin Jensen is among the core members of the Joseph Smith Papers
Project team who have worked with Andersen, helping position the aging
and fragile books for the camera.
"As someone who obsesses over the slightest features in manuscripts
and their transcriptions, I appreciate Welden's meticulous attention to
detail," said Jensen, an editor of the facsimile edition just released.
"He is a perfect fit within the project, exemplifying the care with
which the Joseph Smith Papers (team) devotes to transcription and
The high-resolution photographs have "both an archival purpose and a
scholarly or investigative purpose," said Ronald K. Esplin, the Joseph
Smith Papers Project's managing editor.
"Shooting at extremely high resolution allows one to see things that
are not visible to the naked eye and to capture detail for archival
purposes that may not be visible even to the camera in another 50
years," Esplin said. "Because the documents will never be more legible
than they are now, it is important that for the most significant
documents we capture and preserve all the data, all the detail, that is
technically feasible to capture."
Photographs of the documents meet the project's current objective of
providing high-quality images for the printed volumes. Just how the
church will make the images available online or through other
electronic delivery is still a work in process, said Church History
spokesman Patrick Dunshee.
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