The Medal Collector

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The Medal Collector
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Orders and Medals Society of America. THE MEDAL COLLECTOR. Thirteen volumes, bound in twelve, comprising: Vols. 8, 9, 12, 15, 16, 19, 20, 27, 30-33 and 35 (1957, 1958, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1969, 1976, 1979-1982 and 1984. 8vo, later black cloth, gilt or lettered in silver. Generally near fine. Thirteen volumes of this bibliographically tricky publication. It began life in April 1949 as The Medal Collectors’ Cooperative. This modest publication was published for four issues before the establishment of the Orders and Medals Society of America in 1950, at which time the publication became The Medal Collector and began again at Vol. 1, No. 1. This lasted for four volumes. At this point, probably due to insufficient funds, the format of the publication changed. The less-impressive new publication was at first titled The Medal Collector Bulletin, causing the numbering to begin again with the Vol. 1, Nos. 1-3 (Jan.-Mar. 1954) issue. With the Vol. 2, No. 4 (April 1955) issue, the Bulletin fell off the title with little fanfare, with the publication reverting to its original title but causing confusion in the ranks of the bibliographically minded. If this were not enough, in 1958 it was apparently felt that having started again at Vol. 1 in 1954 had been a mistake, so the four volumes of the original series were added to the four so far published of the second series, making the 1958 volume Vol. 9 and the more OCD-ish among us clutch our heads. All told, there were several changes of name and format before the struggling periodical was safely treading water. It continues its existence today as the Journal of the Orders and Medals Society of America. The longevity of the publication can be ascribed to the same attribute that made its early years difficult: its strict focus on orders, decorations and medals. Never among the most popular areas of numismatics, the earlier volumes are decidedly scarce. From the library of Joseph Copley; one volume labeled as being from the Portsmouth Athenaeum.