Published in 1998, Ladies in the Laboratory provided a systematic survey and comparison of the work of 19th-century American and British women in scientific research. A companion volume, published in 2004, focused on women scientists from Western Europe. In this third volume, author Mary R.S. Creese expands her scope to include the contributions of 19th- and early 20th-century women of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
The women whose lives and work are discussed here range from natural history collectors and scientific illustrators of the early and mid years of the 19th century to the first generation of graduates of the new colonial colleges and universities. Rarely acknowledged in publications of the British and European specialists, the contributions of these women nonetheless formed a significant part of the natural history information about extensive, previously unknown regions and their products.
Rather than a biographical dictionary or a collection of self-contained essays on individuals from many time periods, Ladies in the Laboratory III is a connected narrative tied into the wider framework of 19th-century science and education. A well-organized blend of individual life stories and quantitative information, this volume is for everyone interested in the story of women's participation in 19th century science. The stories of these women make for fascinating reading and serve as a valuable source for the student of women's and colonial history.