Todays episode is an interview with Mark Ashurst-McGee. He is an employee of the Church History Department. He is also one of the editors on the Joseph Smith Papers project.
Bro. Ashurst-McGee received a B.A. and B.S. from Brigham Young University (BYU) in 1994, and an M.A. in History from Utah State University (USU) in 2000. His master’s thesis on Joseph Smith’s religious development won the Reese History Award from the Mormon History Association. His dissertation was on Joseph Smith’s early social and political thought, and won the Gerald E. Jones Dissertation Award from the Mormon History Association. Through this training, he became a “specialist in documentary editing conventions and transcription methodology.” A BYU professor of religious education and colleague in the Joseph Smith Papers Project, Steven C. Harper, stated Ashurst-McGee “probably knows the field of documentary editing better than anybody that I know.
Ashurst-McGee is a member of the Joseph Smith Papers Project. Along with Richard L. Jensen and Dean C. Jessee, he co-edited the first volume to be published from the series, which was on the early journals of Joseph Smith. Released in 2008, the book became very popular and sold very quickly, prompting expanded additional printings. In 2009, it received the Steven F. Christensen Best Documentary Award (Mormon History Association) and a Special Award in Textual Criticism and Bibliography (Association for Mormon Letters). Bro Ashurst-McGee is expected to edit future volumes of Smith’s papers.