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Maxwell Reading Room Opens in Library

Lainey S. Cronk, May 5, 2008
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During the 2008 Homecoming Weekend, PUC celebrated the opening of a room in the library that’s rich with history, heritage, and childhood memories. The Maxwell Reading Room is the result of a gift from the Maxwell family, including material given by the late Malcolm Maxwell, a beloved former president of PUC. The collection of material celebrates the legacy of Malcolm’s father, Arthur S. Maxwell, and especially his contribution to Adventist children’s literature.

Arthur Maxwell — or “Uncle Arthur” — served as editor of the Signs of the Times for 34 years and wrote over 100 volumes. His work is well known in the worldwide Adventist community, especially his books for children. Generations of Adventists have childhood memories of Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories and The Bible Story. These books, and others from Arthur Maxwell’s collection, became popular across countries and denominations and continue to sell today.

The collection in the Maxwell Reading Room gives people an opportunity for nostalgia with first editions of Uncle Arthur’s volumes, as well as the original hand-written and typed manuscripts. The collection is not yet complete, and more material will still be added to the room over time.

At Homecoming, the Reading Room was packed full by about 100 people for opening ceremonies. Deirdre Maxwell Smith, Arthur’s daughter, recounted the history of the Maxwell family. Audrey Maxwell Zinke, the family agent, gave statistics on Arthur Maxwell publications, and Wendy Maxwell shared why the collection is coming to PUC and what that means to the family.

“The honor that has been bestowed upon PUC in the form of this dedicated space on campus holds a greater significance because it is a gift — a complete gift of a family’s love, belief, support and advocacy of this ‘College on the Mountain,’” says Pam Sadler, PUC’s vice president for advancement. “The Maxwell family helped chart the course for the college.”