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Looking forward to Queen's history

[Daniel Woolf and Duncan McDowall meet with young student and her mother]Principal Daniel Woolf and university historian Duncan McDowall recently met with Taylor Carlyle, a local elementary school student, and her mother. Principal Woolf and Dr. McDowall agreed to meet with Ms Carlyle and discuss her school project on the history of Queen's.

Duncan McDowall believes he has already identified the main theme for the third volume of Queen’s official history covering the period from 1961 until 2004.

“Dramatic social changes made Queen’s vigilantly test and renegotiate its sense of identity,” says Dr. McDowall (Arts’72, MA’74). “Through my research I’m seeing how Queen’s becomes sensitized and diversified through a series of crisis points, where old values are called into question, examined, and then either found wanting or changed.”

A specialist in institutional histories, Dr. McDowall was commissioned in 2010 to write the next official volume of Queen’s history. Since then he has conducted research in the Queen’s Archives and tracked down many alumni as well as former staff and faculty. He wants his book to offer lively and compelling reading for a broad audience.

Dr. McDowall, who is the university historian and an adjunct professor in the Department of History, not only gathers Queen’s history but also shares it where he can. Recently he met with Taylor Carlyle, a Grade 7 student from Mother Teresa Catholic School in Kingston. She got an extension on her school project about the history of Queen’s when Dr. McDowall and Principal Daniel Woolf agreed to meet with her and share their knowledge and perspectives.

Dr. McDowall is confident he won’t need an extension in order to complete his manuscript by the end of 2013. The book is scheduled for publication in 2016 to coincide with the university’s 175th anniversary.