Doctrine and Covenants, 1835

Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God, and Compiled by Joseph Smith Junior. Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, -[Presiding Elders of said Church.]- Proprietors.; Kirtland, OH: F. G. Williams & Co., 1835; i–iv, 5–257, 25 pages of back matter paginated i–xxv; includes typeset signature marks and copyright notice. The copy presented herein is held at CHL; includes marginalia and archival markings.
This book was printed in octavo format on eighteen sheets, which were folded to make eighteen gatherings of eight leaves (sixteen pages) each. The text block consists of 288 pages measuring 6 × 4 inches (15 × 10 cm).1

In addition to the 282 pages identified in the preceding paragraph, the text block includes six unnumbered pages not accounted for in the pagination: a blank page after page 257 and five blank pages at the end of the volume, after page xxv.  

The sheets were likely printed using a work-and-turn technique, yielding two copies of the same gathering for each sheet.2

An uncut sheet of the first Kirtland issue (Dec. 1833) of The Evening and the Morning Star, which was printed on the same press as the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, is super royal size, or approximately 27½ × 20 inches (70 × 51 cm). Had the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, which was printed in octavo format, been printed on super royal–size paper with a sheetwise technique (one gathering per sheet), each sheet would have yielded eight leaves measuring approximately 10 × 6⅞ inches (25 × 17 cm) each, a page size significantly larger than was needed for the Doctrine and Covenants, which measures approximately 6 × 4 inches (15 × 10 cm). If a work-and-turn technique had been used, each sheet would have yielded sixteen leaves measuring approximately 6⅞ × 5 inches (17 × 13 cm) each, leaving about a quarter inch to be trimmed from the top and bottom of each leaf and about a half an inch to be trimmed from the outside edge.  

Different bindings exist among the extant copies from this printing of the Doctrine and Covenants because copies were bound at different times.3

Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:57.
Comprehensive Works Cited



Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. 2 vols. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997, 2005.

The copy of the book featured herein, which belonged to early church member and leader Newel K. Whitney, measures 6¼ × 4⅜ × ⅞ inches (16 × 11 × 2 cm). The cover is made from brown leather, with gilt and blind tooling on the spine and around the edges of the front and back covers. “Doctrine & | Covenants” is stamped on the spine in gilt. The front and back pastedowns, the front flyleaf, and the back flyleaf are single-sided marbled leaves featuring a Spanish pattern with blue shell body and shell veins of red and yellow. The verso of the front flyleaf bears a notation in graphite in unidentified handwriting, which was later stricken: “Presented, By. The hand of his mother E[lizabeth] A[nn]. Whitney to her Son Joshua [Kimball Whitney] on Tuesday Nov 26th 1872 S[alt]. L[ake]. City”. The recto of the subsequent unprinted page bears several notations, all in unidentified handwriting: “RN- 232438”, “Vault | Book | M223.1 | D637 | 1835 | no.4”, “E[lizabeth]. A[nn]. Whitneys | Book”, “G. S. L. City | May 23d. 1858.”, and “Sister Elia ◊◊◊◊ | see me at ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊”. The verso of that page is blank, as is the following leaf. The title page bears the signature of “N[ewel] K Whitney”. The final gathering of the book ends with two blank leaves. Two additional blank leaves were included, followed by a single flyleaf and the pastedown. The recto of the back flyleaf bears a light graphite notation in unidentified handwriting: “Mrs Whitney”.
After the death of Newel K. Whitney in 1850, his wife Elizabeth Ann took possession of the book and then gave it to her son Joshua Kimball Whitney in 1872. The book remained in the Whitney family until it was acquired by the Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1987.