All over Scotland, in towns, villages and in the countryside, there are many types of memorials, large and small, commemorating the lives and achievements of women. Some names are well known, others have been forgotten. All the women have contributed in some way to the life of the country we know today.
The project was originally conceived by Women’s History Scotland as a complementary resource to their Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women. They knew of memorials to many of the notable Scotswomen documented in the Dictionary, but had limited resources to go out and document those memorials.
A collaboration was proposed with Girlguiding Scotland, with the intention that Girlguiding Units across Scotland would gather information about memorials to women in their local area, and record that information in a central database. At the same time, Glasgow Women’s Library was exploring the possibility of developing an online women’s history resource, and it seemed only natural to combine the two projects, developing the Women of Scotland website as an online record of memorials to women in Scotland, easily updated and accessible to all.
After the Girlguiding Scotland project, ‘The Big Name Hunt’, started to wind down there remain many memorials to women still to be recorded. With this in mind, it was decided to open the website up to allow everyone to contribute, and the site was relaunched in March 2012.
Each memorial is recorded with location information that allows us to map all the memorials across Scotland, and linked to a record of the woman being commemorated, with space for her biography, if known. With over 300 memorials already recorded, we are building a picture of the many and varied contributions women have made to Scottish history and culture.
However, there are still many memorials to record and map, and stories to uncover – we’re calling on anyone who knows of a memorial to a woman to go online and record it at womenofscotland.org.uk. Photographs of the memorials can also be uploaded to the website, or shared with our Flickr group. Each contribution helps us to build a picture of Scotland’s women, and the part they have played in Scotland’s history.