Dictionary puts spotlight on women in Scottish history

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Today sees the publication of a unique dictionary - to coincide with International Women's Day - which aims to turn the spotlight on female contributions to society.

More than 800 prominent women are profiled in the Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women. The entries come from varied backgrounds. Among the pages, queens consort with factory workers, heroines rub shoulders with spies, and mountaineers with missionaries. Penned by a team of 280 scholars, the entries explore people who shaped the society we know today.

ADAM Smith, Walter Scott, Alexander Graham Bell, William Wallace - the names trip off the tongue of any Scot asked for a list of their greatest compatriots. But what about Elsie Inglis, Evelyn Balfour, or Marion Reid? These women, largely forgotten in modern Scotland, shaped history in this country and abroad.

Take Inglis. She was a leading surgeon and campaigner for healthcare for the poor. And in 1843 Reid wrote a groundbreaking work to prioritise civil and political rights. The women's influence and significance, however, has been largely overlooked.

Now that is about to change.

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