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RUMBEL (OLIVER KEITH AND MARGARET H.) CHURCH TOKEN COLLECTION, circa 400-1977


Descriptive Summary

Title: Oliver Keith and Margaret H. Rumbel church token collection
Dates: circa 400-1977
Accession Number(s): 1992-010, 1993-003, 2017-012
Extent: 3,840 tokens and 67 inches of printed materials
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Austin Seminary Archives at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary


Biographical Note: Oliver Keith (O.K.) Rumbel (1896-1977) was an internationally renowned numismatist whose vast collection of church communion tokens stands in testimony to the examination and endurance of the faith of the Presbyterian and Reformed church. After spending his early life in Kansas, Rumbel moved to the Rio Grande Valley in 1928. Trained as an architect, Rumbel worked in the manufacture and distribution of lumber prior to an occupational shift to the growing citrus industry. Rumbel was an avid philatelist and numismatist before focusing his efforts on the collection of church tokens and their history.

The use of church tokens, also called communion tokens, within the Presbyterian denomination originated in France in the latter half of the 16th century and were used in Scotland as late as the First World War. Communion tokens were given to a practitioner who was deemed worthy to enter into the communion service and were probably used during times of religious persecution in Scotland to mark those who were faithful.

Rumbel’s wife, Margaret H. Rumbel (1915-1999) shared in his passion and the two often travelled together to view and acquire tokens.

Scope and Contents: Communion tokens, beggar’s badges, photographs, photocopies and publications are arranged in seven series documenting the history and use of communion tokens by Presbyterian congregations in general and the Oliver Keith and Margaret Rumbel collection specifically.

The first and second series includes 3,840 communion tokens donated by Oliver Keith Rumbel in the 1950s and 1960s and those donated by Margaret Rumbel in 1993. These tokens are mostly from Scotland and from the 17th and 18th century, although earlier tokens and tokens from Great Britain, New Zealand, Canada and other countries are represented. The third series is comprised of 10 beggar’s badges; an insignia that were worn by beggars in Great Britain and Ireland in the 18th century to identify them as being from a local parish. A detailed inventory of the communion tokens and beggar’s badges included in the collection is available from the archivist. The fourth series includes the unique token holders designed by Oliver Keith Rumbel to protect and showcase the tokens. The fifth series includes photographs of the communion tokens in the Rumbel collection as well as those viewed by Oliver Keith and Margaret Rumbel during their travels to England, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, India, France, Russia, Jamaica, and Holland. The sixth series is made up of printed materials about communion tokens, including a booklet entitled The Story of the Formation of the Token Collection by James Beverley which was published by the Austin Presbyterian Seminary Library. Ten catalogues (in seven bound volumes) written by Oliver Keith Rumbel in 1970 chronicle the provenance of the Rumbel collection established from over 35 years of exhaustive research. These volumes contain a complete catalogue of the token and beggars’ badges collections as arranged by Rumbel in addition to appraisal value of those items, and historical information about the collection. Other publications of interest are the Old Scottish Communion Plate by Thomas Burns (1892), Communion Tokens of the Presbyterian Churches in Ireland by A.A. Milne (1920), and Church Tokens of the U.S.A. by Oliver Keith Rumbel (1949). The seventh series includes the correspondence of the Rumbel family regarding the appraisal and donation of the collection.

Processing Information: Processed by Whitney Hughes, Archives Assistant, December 2010.

Additions processed by Nikole Koehlert, Archives Assistant, November 2017

Restrictions: Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details.

Index Terms:
Rumbel, Oliver Keith.
Rumbel, Margaret, 1915-1999.
Beggar’s badges.
Communion tokens--Scotland.
Communion tokens--United States.

Other Finding Aids: This finding aid is also available in PDF format, which may be more suitable for printing. Click here to download the PDF version.

Preferred Citation: Oliver Keith and Margaret H. Rumbel church token collection, circa 400-1977, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary


Inventory:

Box Number:
 
Contents: 
See Archivist Oliver Keith Rumbel church tokens
   
See Archivist Margaret Rumbel church tokens
   
See Archivist Beggar’s badges
   
I001a Church token holders (box 1)
   
C112a Church token holders (box 2)
   
E045 Photographs:
  Communion tokens, undated
  Oliver Keith and Margaret H. Rumbel sitting with their token collection, circa 1950s
   
E045 Printed materials:
  Scottish Communion Tokens: Other than Those of the Established Church by Robert Dick, 1902
  Communion Tokens of the Established Church of Scotland: Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Centuries by Alexander J.S. Brook, 1908
  Communion Tokens, with Illustrated and Descriptive Catalogue of Those of Dumfriesshire by H.A. Whitelaw, 1911
  Communion Tokens of the Presbyterian Churches in Ireland by A.A. Milne, 1920
   
E046 Communion Tokens of the Presbyterian Churches in Ireland by A.A. Milne, 1920
  Unpublished Tokens of the Church of Scotland by R. Kerr, 1940
  Communion Tokens of the Free Church of Scotland by R. Kerr, 1944
  Church Tokens: Reformed Presbyterian, United Presbyterian, Methodist, Original Secession, Free Church by W.M. Johnston, 1946
  Parish Church Tokens, 1946
  Illustrations of United States Communion Tokens by Oliver Keith Rumbel, 1949
   
E047 Church Tokens of the U.S.A. by Oliver Keith Rumbel, 1949
  Work Book U.S. Communion Tokens by Oliver Keith Rumbel, 1949
  “A History of the Communion Token,” by James Andrew Beverley and “The Story of the Formation of the Token Collection located at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Library,” related by Oliver Keith Rumbel, 1961
  Scottish Beggar’s Badges by R. Kerr, 1962
  A Collection of Articles on Communion Tokens by John Lockie, 1964
   
H008a Old Scottish Communion Plate by Thomas Burns, 1892
  Photographic Atlas of O.K. Rumbel Church Token Collection, 1965
   
H008b Photographic Atlas of O.K. Rumbel Church Token Collection, 1969
   
E047 Photographic Atlas of O.K. Rumbel Church Token Collection, 1969
  Antique Molds and Dies for Casting or Striking Communion Tokens, 1977
  Communion Token Rubbings by John Lockie, undated
  Church Token: A Bibliography by Oliver Keith Rumbel, undated
   
E048 Catalogue of British Tokens, undated
  Catalogue of Reformed Tokens Issued in the United States of America by Oliver Keith Rumbel, undated
   
Bookshelf Range A Catalogue of the Oliver Keith Rumbel Church Token Collection in the Historical Foundation of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches, Montreat, North Carolina Part 1, , 1970
  Catalogue of the Oliver Keith Rumbel Church Token Collection in the Historical Foundation of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches, Montreat, North Carolina Part 2, , 1970
  Catalogue of the Oliver Keith Rumbel Church Token Collection in the Historical Foundation of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches, Montreat, North Carolina Part 3, , 1970
  Workbook- Catalogue of the Oliver Keith Rumbel Church Token Collection in the Historical Foundation of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches, Montreat, North Carolina Book 1 (Vol. 1-12), , 1970
  Workbook- Catalogue of the Oliver Keith Rumbel Church Token Collection in the Historical Foundation of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches, Montreat, North Carolina Book 2 (Vol. 13-24) and Book 3 (Vol. 25-36), , 1970
  Workbook- Catalogue of the Oliver Keith Rumbel Church Token Collection in the Historical Foundation of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches, Montreat, North Carolina Book 4 (Vol. 37-48) and Book 5 (Vol. 49-60), , 1970
  Workbook- Catalogue of the Oliver Keith Rumbel Church Token Collection in the Historical Foundation of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches, Montreat, North Carolina Book 6 (Vol. 61-72) and Book 7 (Vol. 73-86), , 1970
   
E048 Correspondence, 1960-1973:
  Oliver Rumbel to Jim (James) and Martha Coleman regarding his gift of coins (2 copies), December 20, 1960
  James and Martha Coleman to Rev. Norman A. Dow regarding their donation of tokens (copy), December 24, 1960
  Henry Christensen, International Association of Professional Numismatists, appraisal of complete collection, July 28, 1962
  James and Martha Coleman to Rev. Norman A. Dow regarding their donation of tokens (copy), December 29, 1962
  James and Martha Coleman to Rev. Norman A. Dow regarding their donation of tokens (copy), December 31, 1962
  David L. Stitt to Dr. and Mrs. James L. Coleman regarding their donation of tokens, January 9, 1963
  Norman D. Dow, Jr. to Dr. and Mrs. James L. Coleman regarding their donation of tokens, January 14, 1963
  Oliver Rumbel to Norman A. Dow letter of gift, April 11, 1963
  Oliver Rumbel to R.I. Nesmith regarding an appraisal, April 23, 1963
  R.I. Nesmith to Oliver Rumbel, appraisal (2 copies), May 4, 1963
  Memorandum from law firm Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin and Kahn to Oliver and Keith Rumbel, November 9, 1965
  Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin and Kahn law firm to Oliver and Keith Rumbel with enclosed charitable contribution forms, December 18, 1969
  Kenneth J. Forman, Jr. to Mr. and Mrs. O.K. Rumbel acknowledging the receipt of their donation to The Historical Foundation of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches, Incorporated, Montreat, North Carolina, December 20, 1969
  Classification of expenses for James and Martha Coleman regarding the Oliver Keith Rumbel Church Token Collection, 1969
  Robert Sharman of Seaby Ltd. responding to Oliver Rumbel’s request for Beggars’ Badges (2 copies), January 8, 1970
  Keith E. Rumbel to Coin World regarding an appraisal request, February 13, 1970
  Keith Rumbel to Martha and Jim (James), copies of Agreement of Charitable Contribution forms and enclosed photos of coins (7 copies each of 2 photographs), March 28, 1970
  Oliver Rumbel to B.A. Seaby Ltd. regarding a purchase of tokens (2 copies), June 15, 1970
  Robert Sharman of Seaby Ltd. responding to Oliver Rumbel’s request for purchase (2 copies), June 25, 1970
  Margaret Rumble to Richard Snook regarding his advertisement in The Antique Trader (2 copies), July 25, 1970
  Kenneth J. Forman, Jr. to Oliver and Margaret Rumbel, index of their 1970 donation for their income tax returns (2 copies) enclosed with a summary of the collection, donation agreement, and complete appraisal 1970
  Keith E. Rumbel to Coin World regarding an appraisal request, February 13, 1970
  Margo Russell of Coin World responding to Keith E. Rumbel regarding his request for competent appraisers, February 28, 1970
  Oliver Rumbel to Jim (James) and Martha Coleman regarding their donation, March 22, 1971
  Kenneth J. Forman, Jr. to Oliver Rumbel receipt of gift, May 31, 1972
  Keith Rumbel to Oliver Rumbel regarding collection expenses, July 15, 1973
  Oliver Rumbel to Jim (James) and Martha Coleman regarding collection expenses (2 copies) December 7, 1973


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