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DUNCALF, FREDERICK (1882–1963). Frederick Duncalf, historian, was born in Lancaster, Wisconsin, on March 23, 1882. He attended Beloit College, where he received his B.A. in 1904, and the University of Wisconsin, where, as a student under Dana C. Munro, historian of the Crusades, he received his Ph.D. in 1914. He went to the University of Texas as a tutor in 1909; after two short intervals of teaching, at Bowdoin in 1910–11 and at the University of Illinois in 1913–14, he returned to the University of Texas as a professor of medieval history, a post he held until his retirement in 1950. During his tenure at UT Duncalf trained a group of medievalists who subsequently had distinguished careers at leading American universities. He also was instrumental in the inauguration of the university's Plan II program in 1936, the earliest honors program at any major state university. He was married to Alma Rather in 1914.

After his retirement in 1950 he taught courses in church history at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwestqv. He was a member of the council of the Medieval Academy of America and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. His publications included Parallel Source Problems in Medieval History (1912), with August C. Krey; A Brief History of the War (1918); Europe and Our Nation (1932), with Eugene C. Barker; and The Story of Civilization (1938), with Carl Becker. His most important contribution to scholarship was the planning, with Krey, of a cooperative American History of the Crusades, the first volume of which appeared in 1955; to this volume he contributed an important chapter. Duncalf died on March 29, 1963.


Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Archibald R. Lewis

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Archibald R. Lewis, "DUNCALF, FREDERICK," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.