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JOHN - The Papyrus that Joseph Smith used to translate and write the Book of Abraham,does the Church still have possession of the papyrus? If so, is it available for viewing? I tried to contact the Church History Department and they said to write them an e-mail and someone would get back to me. But, they could not give me an e-mail address. Is there a way to find out? Just curious.
JOEL - The Church does not have the entire collection of papyri that Joseph Smith used to translate the Book of Abraham. Most of the papyurs scrolls were burned in the Chicago fire of 1871. In 1946 the Metropolitin Museum of Art acquired 11 fragments of the original papyri and in 1967 they gave the fragments to the LDS Church which has them in possession today. The current belief is that the Book of Abraham was taken from another part of the scrolls that are not part of the existing fragments.
The fragments were on display in 1970 at BYU for a time but they are not now available for public viewing. There are of course numerous photos that were taken of them as they were being studied.
The following website has photos of the 11 existing fragments: