Digital Archives


You are invited to submit pictures of artifacts and pictures of historical significance to occupational therapy for inclusion on the OT Leaders and Legacies Society’s (OTL&LS) History Preservation Project’s Digital Archive webpage.  Your submissions may fall into categories already established (see below) or in another category that is relevant to OT History.  A caption identifying and/or describing the subject matter must be submitted with each picture. You must own the rights to the submitted picture(s), and/or ensure that posting the digital artifact adheres to copyright law and/or fair use standards, and submit a signed Historical Works and Artifact release form (fillable form via download) giving permission to the OT L&L Society to post the picture(s) on its Historical Works webpage. By giving this permission, you do not relinquish any copyright or performance rights that you may hold. 

Digital files may be submitted in the following formats: jpg, png, pdf, or tiff. A minimum resolution for digital files of 300 dpi is recommended. Please email the digital file(s), release form(s), and caption(s) identifying and/or describing the subject matter to the

Detailed Guidelines for Submission of Digital Artifacts can be found here.

Current Established Artifact Categories

Please Note

Please note that downloading, copying, and any unauthorized use and/or distribution of the pictures in the Occupational Therapy Leaders & Legacies Society (OTL&LS) Digital Archive without express written permission from the OTL&LS is strictly prohibited. 

Disclaimer: The OTL&LS has created this display of images as part of its larger effort to document occupational therapy history. Care has been taken to obtain signed permissions for each photograph used and to ensure that it adheres to copyright law and/or fair use standards. However, the Society is unable to confirm the identities or associated information pertaining to any person(s) or objects depicted, nor to authenticate the validity of the releases it has obtained in good faith. Therefore, it disclaims liability for such errors. Please contact the society at with any concerns and they will be promptly addressed.


George Edward Barton Letter (1905)

A December 5, 1905 letter from George Edward Barton to Hermann Sudermann, a dramatist and novelist.  It is believed that the book Barton sent Sudermann was “Pipe of Desire: An Opera in One Act”.  Barton wrote the libretto for this opera. (Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

Transcription of Letter:

Boston Mass

Dec 5 05

My dear Sir - 

Please pardon my presumption but it is necessary that I should send this little book to you who have given me so much –

Very respectfully Yours
George Edward Barton

Hermann Sudermann


G.E. Barton Ad (1921)

An ad published in The Trained Nurse and Hospital Review in 1921 by George Edward Barton promoting occupational therapy.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

St. Louis School of OT 1923 Bulletin

The 1923 Bulletin of the St. Louis School of Occupational Therapy provides information about requirements for admission and graduation, curriculum, academic calendar, fees, administration, lecturers, staff, and alumni. (Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

Registration of Occupational Therapists (1936)

This brochure, Registration of Occupational Therapists 1936, describes the registration categories and training required for each category in order to be listed as a registered occupational therapist in the National Register and Directory of qualified occupational therapists. (Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

Occupational Therapy - 2001 AD

This booklet contains the papers presented at a “special session of the Representative Assembly, November 1978”. This session, was held in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Selected leaders of the profession were invited to present papers to the participants to help in setting a future course for the profession.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

AOTF Silent Auction & Fundraising Night Cap

The 1996 program from the American Occupational Therapy Foundation’s “The Grand Finale”, a Silent Auction & Fundraising Night Cap. For many years AOTF held a yearly silent auction and fundraiser to benefit the Education and Research Programs of AOTF.  This was the last year this event was held.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen) 

Kidner Pamphlet (1929)

Co-authored by Thomas B. Kidner (a founder of  AOTA and president of AOTA from 1923 - 1928) and Emil Frankel for the State of New Jersey Department of Institutions and Agencies, this pamphlet outlines the physical requirements for psychiatric facilities in New Jersey.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

Historical Books

Barton, pages 1-2

Signed copy of Pipe of Desire: An Opera in One Act.  George Edward Barton wrote the libretto for this opera, the first American opera to be performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

Reconstruction Therapy, pages 1-2

Signed copy of Reconstruction Therapy (1919) by Dr. William Rush Dunton, Jr.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

Reconstruction Therapy - Credo

Credo, written by Dr. William Rush Dunton, Jr., in Reconstruction Therapy (1919).
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

Dunton, pages 1-2

Signed copy of Old Quilts by William Rush Dunton, Jr., M.D.  This self-published book is highly prized by occupational therapists and quilters alike.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

Willard and Spackman brochure

The brochure advertising the first edition of Principles of Occupational Therapy (1947) edited by Helen Willard and Clare Spackman.  After Helen Willard and Clare Spackman “retired” as editors in 1978, subsequent editions the book was titled “Willard and Spackman’s Occupational Therapy”.  Note the price of the first edition - $4.50. 
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

Willard & Spackman, 12 editions

First 12 editions of Willard and Spackman.  First two editions were titled Principles of Occupational Therapy, editions 3 and 4 were titled Occupational Therapy, and subsequent editions were titled Willard and Spackman’s Occupational Therapy after Helen Willard and Clare Spackman “retired” as editors. (Left side, top to bottom – 1st ed-1947; 2nd ed-1954; 3rd ed-1963; 4th ed-1973; Right side, top to bottom – 5th ed-1978, 6th ed- 1983, 7th ed-1988, 8th ed-1993; middle section left to right – 9th ed-1998, 10th ed-2003, 11th ed-2009, 12th ed-2014).
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

Willard and Spackman - signed

Title page of Principles of Occupational Therapy (First edition) signed by the editors Helen Willard and Clare Spackman.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

A Pyschiatrist's Anthology, pages 1-2

The Psychiatrist’s Anthology, a book by Louis J. Karnosh, was printed and assembled by the Department of Occupational Therapy in the Psychopathic Division of the City Hospital in the City of Cleveland, Ohio in 1931 - The Occupational Therapy Press.  Participation in the printing process was an activity that patients participated in as part of their therapy. (Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

Betty Blake, O.T.

The book, Betty Blake, O.T.: A Story of Occupational Therapy (1941), was one of the career romance novels written to inform and recruit young women to pursue a career in occupational therapy.  The collaborating author, Meta R. Cobb, O.T.R., was the executive secretary of the American Occupational Therapy Association from 1938 to 1947.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

The Healing Heart

The book, The Healing Heart: The Story of Ora Ruggles, Pioneer in Occupational Therapy (1961), is about Ora Ruggles’ life and work as a reconstruction aide and as an occupational therapist. (Submitted by Lori T. Andersen) 

Proceedings - The First Annual Meeting of NSPOT, pages 1-2

The Proceedings of the First Annual Meeting of the National Society for the Promotion of Occupational Therapy (NSPOT) held on September 3, 1917 in New York City were published in a book format.  The book was printed and bound by the Spring Grove Hospital Press and the Sheppard Hospital Press as part of occupational therapy.  NSPOT founder Dr. William Rush Dunton was head of the occupational therapy department at Sheppard Hospital in Towson, Maryland.  The First Annual Meeting of NSPOT took place about 5 months after the Inaugural Meeting of NSPOT held from March 15 to 17, 1917 in Clifton Springs, New York. (Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

W & S - First Three Editions

First three editions of the occupational therapy text edited by Helen Willard and Clare Spackman with dust covers.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

Objects and Mementoes

RA Pin

A Reconstruction Aide pin.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

OT Pin - Caduceus

Early occupational therapy pin circa 1922.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)


Coffee mugs sold at American Occupational Therapy conferences by AOTPAC to raise money for the PAC (Political Action Committee).  Mugs are arranged by year conference was held.  From left to right - Kansas, 1984; Atlanta, 1985; Minneapolis, 1986; Indianapolis, 1987; Phoenix, 1988; Baltimore, 1989.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

BS OT Cape

A cape belonging to Virginia Gray, a 1931 graduate of the Boston School of Occupational Therapy per the label sewn into the cape.  Once erroneously identified as a Reconstruction Aide cape, this case was more consistent with the style cape worn circa 1930.  Virginia Gray’s alma mater further explains the gold letters on the collar – BS on the right side and OT on the left side for Boston School of Occupational Therapy.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

Occupational Therapist Patch

Patch design adopted by the American Occupational Therapy Association in 1940.  The patch could only be worn by registered occupational therapists.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

OT Apprentice Patch

Patch worn by students enrolled in War Emergency courses during WWII when there was a shortage of occupational therapists.  This curriculum could be completed in 12 months – 4 months of didactic coursework and eight months of practical experience working as an occupational therapy apprentice. (Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

1962 AOTA Napkins

Napkins from the 1962 American Occupational Therapy conference.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

AOTF Celebration Champagne Glasses

Champagne Glasses from the AOTF 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2015.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)

Small Purse

Item made in occupational therapy – Vermont Department of Public Health.  Appears to be a small change purse.  In the early years, items made by patients in occupational therapy were often sold with proceeds sometimes going to the patient and sometimes to purchase more supplies and equipment.  The recognition that someone valued and purchased an item made by a patient helped to improve patients’ self-esteem. (Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)


Lori T. Andersen - Fred Sammons

Photo of (left to right) Lori T. Andersen and Fred Sammons taken at the 2005 AOTA Conference in Long Beach, California.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen)


St. Peter's Episcopal Church

Miss Eleanor Mai Clark of Hobart, New York married Robert E. Slagle of Chicago, Illinois on April 19, 1894 in St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Hobart.  The church was founded in 1794.  The church building was constructed in 1801 and renovated in 1880.
(Submitted by Lori T. Andersen) 

Octagon Tower and Plaque

The Octagon Tower, part of the Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island where Susan Cox Johnson, one of the founders of the American Occupational Therapy Association, worked.  Blackwell’s Island is now known as Roosevelt Island.  The Octagon Tower is now part of this exclusive apartment complex.
(Submitted by Carol Lambdin-Pattavina)