Findings about the Printer's Manuscript
1. For several of the gatherings, the typesetter cut the manuscript leaves in order to facilitate the ypesetting. At some later time, these cut portions were pinned together in their correct order.
2. Some corrections were done immediately by the original scribe, some by a correcting scribe, some by the typesetter, and some considerably later by Joseph Smith (for the 1837 edition). In the printer’s manuscript, Joseph Smith made over two thousand changes to the text by overwriting the original words or by crossing out words and inserting other words between the lines. These changes are mostly grammatical, but some involve clarification.
3. The scribes used a variety of paper types, with different thicknesses. Some of the sheets were lined in advance, others were lined by the scribe page by page as the copying took place. The watermark O&H is found on a handful of leaves.
4. The printer’s manuscript does not contain any part of the original manuscript. The gatherings of the two manuscripts were never mixed up, even though for gatherings 16–19 of the printer’s manuscript, the original manuscript was instead taken to the printer. In 3 Nephi 19 an unknown scribe (identified as scribe 2 of the printer’s manuscript) took over while Oliver Cowdery jumped ahead to start copying Ether (which begins gathering 20). When scribe 2 finally finished Mormon (at the end of gathering 19), he left the rest of the page blank. This nearly blank page is the last page of a short gathering of three sheets (12 pages). There are no other partially blank pages within either the original or printer’s manuscript.
5. Gatherings 16–19 of the printer’s manuscript were not used by the printer. These gatherings show none of the typesetter’s marks or corrections. This observation is confirmed by the presence of the typesetter’s punctuation marks on corresponding fragments of the original manuscript.
6. Chapter specifications in the manuscripts are not original to the text. The chapter numbers were almost always added later. One of these chapter numbers (on page 261 of the printer’s manuscript) is in blue ink rather than the normal black ink (now turned brown).