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Isabel G. MacCaffrey, Kenan Professor of History and Literature, died Friday of cancer at the age of 54 at her home in Acton.

MacCaffrey came to Harvard from Tufts in 1971, and one year later became the first woman ever to be chairman of the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature.

She attended Swarthmore College as an undergraduate, and received a Ph.D. here in 1954.

Harry T. Levin '33, Babbitt Professor of Comparative Literature, said yesterday that MacCaffrey's death "is a very serious blow to all of us," adding that MacCaffrey was a very devoted administrator.

Yesterday, Smith College posthumously awarded MacCaffrey an honorary degree.

Funeral services for MacCaffrey will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Annapolis, Maryland. The University will hold a memorial service for her in Cambridge on a date to be announced. Her husband, Wallace T. MacCaffrey, professor of History, survives her

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