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V. Raymond Edman Library

Edman, V. Raymond
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The library of V. Raymond Edman, fourth president of Wheaton College, reflects the life interests and concerns of a devout Christian. It gives insight into the individual and the times in which he lived. The library consists of several hundred books with a large number being devotional and inspirational. Theological and historical texts are also found in the library.

Provenance: Dr. Edman's library was donated by his family to Wheaton College in 1974.

Restrictions: There are no specific restrictions on this collection.
Duplication may be restricted if copying could cause damage to items.

Collection Description
The Library of V. Raymond Edman, fourth president of Wheaton College, reflects his life interests and concerns, giving insight into the individual and the times in which he lived. The Edman library consists of hundreds of volumes donated by his family. A large number of the books are devotional and inspirational, and there are a number of commentaries and theological texts. The collection includes history books that Edman used as a student and professor.. Many are autographed by their authors.

Biographical/Historical Sketch
Born in 1900 of Swedish immigrant parents, Victor Raymond Edman was one of six children. He left home in 1918 to join the army and served for one year, spending much of that time in Allied-occupied Germany. After returning home, he attended college and became a missionary to the Quichua Indians in Ecuador from 1923 to 1928. During this time he married Edith Olson, whom he had met in the United States. He came to Wheaton College in 1936 as an associate professor of history and became the college’s fourth president in 1940, a position he held until he became chancellor in 1965.

During his term as president, the College expanded its financial endowments, its enrollment, and its campus. Fourteen major buildings were erected during his twenty- five year presidency. Buildings included Centennial Gymnasium, the Memorial Student Center, the Dining Hall, Smith Hall, Breyer Science Building, McAlister Conservatory, the Health Center, the Nicholas Library and Edman Chapel, named by the Trustees in his honor. During this time the College also acquired land for the Black Hills Science Station in South Dakota and for Honey Rock Camp in Wisconsin.

Over the years Dr. Edman had a number of serious health problems: typhoid fever (from which he nearly died while in Ecuador), cataracts, gallstones, and ever-increasing heart attacks. One of these attacks, which finally proved fatal, occurred on September 22, 1967, while he delivered a chapel message entitled, “In the Presence of the King.”

Dr. Edman had been a very active public speaker with engagements in Africa, Europe, the Far and Near East, South America, and, of course, all over the United States. He authored nineteen books and numerous articles, most of them devotional in nature. Many were translated into several foreign languages. His correspondence often gave personal counsel and advice and reached thousands. He was a personal friend of Billy Graham and often worked with him on his crusades.

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