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There is only one edition of the Urtext

 in print currently, and this is it.

 It is also available on-line in PDF and HTML (see below)




The Urtext Version

The Urtext version, at least for the Text volume, was the third version produced by the Scribes, and the second earliest or most original for which manuscript copies have surfaced.  Although widely believed to be the original transcript typed by Bill Thetford, the vast majority of the Text volume most certainly is not.  It is not a precise copy of the Shorthand Notes and it reveals many signs of being visually copy-typed instead of orally dictated, including having many pages labelled “retyped.”

Please see What is the Urtext for more details.

It certainly appears to be the Scribes’ first attempt to edit that original transcript.  There are substantial omissions from the Notes and there is a significant amount of material which is not found in the Notes at all and appears to have been added after the initial transcription.

There are eight separate manuscript collections labelled “Urtext” in the United States Copyright Office deposit.  That deposit is “public” information and anyone who can get to Washington D.C. and pay the appropriate fee can view the copies there. Represented are the Text, Workbook, Manual, Use of Terms, Psychotherapy, Song of Prayer and Gifts of God volumes along with an additional collection labelled “Special Messages.

The major differences with later versions are numerous, with the most significant occurring in the first 8 chapters where there are some 40,000 words more than in the HLC which itself is about 10,000 words longer than the FIP version.


Where to find free copies

Where to buy copies


Note: all PDF files that you can display in Acrobat Reader can be “Downloaded” by pressing “Save” (or the floppy disk icon) and then giving it a local filename.  That way you can avoid having to wait for these large files to download in the future.


Urtext Manuscript facsimile (photocopy of manuscripts)

As noted above, there are eight manuscripts in the Urtext facsimile collection.  The precise origin of the copies we have is impossible to determine with certainty.  Due to determined efforts by some to suppress this material, those who have supplied it have done so anonymously. Having advertised a request for copies far and wide, in the years 2000 and 2001, several somewhat different copies on paper and as image files on CD arrived anonymously on my doorstep.  We all owe an enormous debt of gratitude to those who supplied this material.  I have taken the cleanest and clearest images from all of these and assembled what is at least a complete collection of all the pages available to me.  Sequencing of the pages was sometimes uncertain and where in doubt the sequence of the HLC was used in the Text volume.  The Text consists of 1072 pages, the Workbook 620, the Manual 71, Use of Terms 14, Psychotherapy 27, Song of Prayer 28, Gifts of God 14, and Special Messages 55 for a total of 1,846 double spaced, single sided pages. While generally very legible, the manuscript is a rather large physical object to deal with.  Being a “photograph of text,” the text is not searchable on a computer, although it can be displayed and printed.

(free on line in PDF format 1072 pp referenced Menu to select volume) (1049 pp on line at EA – 100 Mb)


Urtext Proof transcript (machine readable transcription with some footnoted corrections)

This document was created by copy-typing the manuscript (above) into a word processor and then proofreading it multiple times.  The goal was to create a keystroke for keystroke precise replica of the manuscript for reference purposes.  Its primary use is in proofreading subsequent edited copies to ensure that every change made was in fact intended. Unlike the HLC transcript, this one contains some footnoted corrections of the most obvious typing mistakes. Unlike the facsimile (image) files, these documents are searchable for words and character strings. (free on line in PDF format Menu to select volume)

 As with the facsimile version, there are the same eight volumes.


Urtext “Illuminati Edition” (machine-readable, printable PDF)

Similar to the above except with no referencing, not even to the original manuscript pages, and with some four thousand undocumented discrepancies in the Text volume alone.  Most of those discrepancies reflect the HLC reading rather than the Urtext manuscript.  It would appear that rather than copy the Urtext, after chapter 8 they just used the HLC and corrected those differences they noticed.  Due to its extreme inaccuracy, and total lack of cross-referencing, this document is of limited utility.  One can note the claim on the cover saying “The Original Complete Unedited Manuscript” which is of course, like the majority of claims of publishers of ACIM editions,  entirely incorrect.  This edition also covers only the Text and some Special Messages. (available on line free Text only 1.6 MB)




Urtext Seven Volume Combined Edition in print

This book includes all seven volumes generally recognized as “canonical” (not including Special Messages) plus extensive appendices with a wealth of background information.  Some of the more obvious typos are fixed, and spelling is standardized.  Some of the more significant deletions from the Shorthand Notes are included in footnotes.  In addition there are a thousand or so footnotes indicating passages in ACIM which refer to the Bible.

While we do not assert that there are no lingering typos or inaccuracies of any kind, multiple proofing passes have left us finding only the very occasion misplaced comma or capitalization error.  As with the HLC, the accuracy of this edition surpasses that of any other edition of ACIM available, save for the manuscript facsimiles themselves, by several orders of magnitude.

For convenience and ease of reference, the HLC chapter and section breaks are marked and each paragraph has a unique reference, which references are also included in the Notes, for ease of cross-referencing.

The book can be ordered at



. Urtext Seven Volume Combined Edition in PDF

This PDF e-book is formatted for ease of reading and searching on a computer monitor.  Identical to the print version, (above) every deviation from the manuscript is documented.  All the powerful search tools in Acrobat Reader are available, making this a flexible and powerful research tool. (free on line in PDF format 13 Mb seven volumes)

It includes all the footnotes and appendices.





 Urtext Seven Volume Combined Edition in HTML:

This is an HTML version of the above e-book.  It displays any of the seven volumes of the Urtext in your browser with a full Table of Contents in a sidebar frame on the left.  In HTML the text and frames can be resized to your preferences and scrolling is entirely linear making it somewhat easier and faster to navigate on a computer than the PDF.  It also loads faster than the PDF version.  All the footnotes are preserved as hyperlinks and are very easy to use.  It can of course be searched for words and character strings using your browser’s “SEARCH BUTTON” (generally CTRL+F).  However, unlike the PDF e-book, it is not all in one file so word or string searches are confined to the volume you’re looking at.

(free on line in HTML format Menu )



Exhaustive Concordance to the Seven Volume Urtext

While any serious textual scholar knows that a concordance is indispensible, newcomers to the tool will be pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy it is to find almost any passage with this tool.

In this exhaustive concordance, every occurrence of every word is indexed and listed with five words of adjacent context. 

Finding any passage for which you can recall even just one word is thus made very fast and easy.

An abridged version of the Concordance is available on line; the exhaustive Concordance can be purchased on CD and is included in the Scholar’s Toolbox DVD.



It should be noted that there are a number of sites offering what they CALL “The Urtext” on line.  When checked against the manuscript, however, we have found that most of these are really largely the HLC and not the Urtext at all.  In particular, the “Illuminati Brotherhood” edition deviates from the Urtext itself in several thousand places.  A few sites offer photocopies of the manuscript, but we’ve yet to find one that is complete.  These sources are therefore not listed.


There may of course be other sources of quality material of which we are simply unaware.  Should you know of any please advise