Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Oliver Keith and Margaret H. Rumbel church token collection, circa 400-1977



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Rumbel, Oliver Keith and Margaret H.
Title: Oliver Keith and Margaret H. Rumbel church token collection
Dates: circa 400-1977
Abstract 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. Communion tokens, beggar’s badges, photographs, photocopies and publications are arranged in six series documenting the history and use of communion tokens by Presbyterian congregations in general and the Oliver Keith and Margaret Rumbel collection specifically.
Identification: 1992-010, 1993-003
Extent: 3,840 tokens and 54 inches of printed materials
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, 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 traveled together to view and acquire tokens.


Scope and Content Note

Communion tokens, beggar’s badges, photographs, photocopies and publications are arranged in six 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. 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).


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

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


Index Terms

Personal Names
Rumbel, Oliver Keith.
Rumbel, Margaret, 1915-1999.
Subjects
Beggar’s badges.
Communion tokens--Scotland.
Communion tokens--United States.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

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

Processing Information

Processed by Whitney Hughes, Archives Assistant, December 2010.


Detailed Description of the Collection

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See Archivist Oliver Keith Rumbel church tokens



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See Archivist Margaret Rumbel church tokens



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See Archivist Beggar’s badges



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I001a Church token holders



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C112a Church token holders



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E045 Photographs



Printed materials:

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E045 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 Irelandby A.A. Milne,1920
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E046 Communion Tokens of the Presbyterian Churches in Irelandby A.A. Milne,1920
Unpublished Tokens of the Church of Scotlandby R. Kerr,1940
Communion Tokens of the Free Church of Scotlandby R. Kerr,1944
Church Tokens: Reformed Presbyterian, United Presbyterian, Methodist, Original Secession, Free ChurchbyW.M. Johnston,1946
Parish Church Tokens,1946
Illustrations of United States Communion Tokens by Oliver Keith Rumbel,1949
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E047 Church Tokens of the U.S.A. by Oliver Keith Rumbel,1949
Work Book U.S. Communion Tokensby 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 Badgesby R. Kerr,1962
A Collection of Articles on Communion Tokens by John Lockie,1964
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H008a Old Scottish Communion Plateby Thomas Burns,1892
Photographic Atlas of O.K. Rumbel Church Token Collection,1965
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H008b Photographic Atlas of O.K. Rumbel Church Token Collection,1969
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E047 Photographic Atlas of O.K. Rumbel Church Token Collection,1969