Stop what you are doing and be inspired by Renah Holmes, who has probably proofread more early church literature than you have read.
Renah has volunteer proofreading credit on nineteen different e-books. (Name the last nineteen early church books you read…) That number is not because she’s been taking the softball projects, either–she’s worked some of the most doorstop-worthy volumes we’ve ever done, including Scrap Book of Mormon Literature vol. 1 and History of the Church vol 5. She has done literally thousands of pages of proofreading. And she just knocks it out. She is easily the most prolific proofreader I’ve ever been blessed to work with.
Her productivity, and the fact that I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her in person, almost makes me wonder if she is secretly a whole basement full of people operating under an assumed name. Against that idea, though, her work has been incredibly consistent and high-quality ever since she started in 2014. This comes through in the finished product, as you can appreciate. It also makes my work in the the post-production process super easy (which has also tended to result in more books getting done sooner).
Be like Renah Holmes. You’ve sort of missed your chance to proofread a ton of the most important old church books and help make them freely available (not least because Renah already did, to the point that the low-hanging fruit has been picked). But maybe if you consistently pour hour after hour into volunteer work for years you, too, can make thousands of peoples’ lives a little bit better, even if they will mostly never know who to thank.
Thank you, Renah Holmes.
(P.S. Renah, hopefully this isn’t too embarrassing, but I suspected you might be too modest to want it posted if I asked permission, so there you go.)
Are you pathetically ignorant of early Church pamphlets? Or, getting past pathetic ignorance into more of an ashamed, repentant ignorance, maybe you have thought “Hmmm, based on the importance of pamphlets in early Church history, I wish there was a selection of them that I could read. Ideally it would be chosen by someone early enough in Church history to be close to the pamphlet tradition, but who lived late enough to have a broad selection to choose from. I’d also want the person choosing them to have a boots-on-the-ground perspective on real missionary pamphlet usage and which pamphlets were effective or worth reading. Basically I really wish I could get a mission president in perhaps the early 1900s to select a few dozen pamphlets for me to read, and get them on my Kindle.”
Well, President Ben E. Rich of the Eastern States Mission has got you covered, and the first volume of his Scrap Book of Mormon Literature (first published 1911) is now available on Project Gutenberg. It contains 38 pamphlets by the likes of B. H. Roberts, Orson Pratt, Lorenzo Snow, George Q. Cannon, Orson Hyde, Charles W. Penrose, John Morgan, etc. etc. Volume 2 has been available for a while too (e-book, post on its contents).
Not quite all the pamphlets, but Scrap Book of Mormon Literature vol. 2, now on PG, contains an embarrassment of riches. It includes about 45 selections from authors including:
Joseph Fielding Smith
Heber J. Grant
B. H. Roberts
Parley P. Pratt
George Q. Cannon
Orson F. Whitney
Obviously that’s a pretty good cross section from the first century of Church writing, thanks to mission president and compiler Ben E. Rich. He included materials originally published everywhere from the Liverpoolto Japan.
And if you’re wondering…you didn’t miss the release of volume 1; it’s just still in progress. Stay tuned. Fortunately the volumes work independently of each other.