The idea for the book and companion trail came from members of Engender a national organisation for women in Scotland. Mary Henderson and Olive Smiles began to work on it in 1997, but although heritage groups and Dundee City Council were enthusiastic no-one was able to commit the necessary funds to establish the trail as a permanent fixture and publish the book.
In 2003 Dundee Women’s Trail established a Committee comprising five members, Mary Henderson, Kate Armstrong, Jean Annand, Edith Hamilton and Moira Foster, and became a registered charity. Over the next two years the members took on the responsibility of preparing a Heritage Lottery Fund application and subsequently managed the project when a generous grant was awarded. Further funding came from the City of Discovery Campaign and a commitment to maintain the trail was also secured from Dundee City Council.
Jimmy Black and Julie Bell helped co-ordinate the work at different stages and local designer, Sue Nicoll, of Zoo Design created the book and plaque designs.