Web-based Historical Resources


This section contains links to resources that have been developed by State Occupational Therapy Associations, Universities with occupational therapy programs, and organizations that provide historical information related to occupational therapy and/or the persons with whom we work.

This compilation of historically-relevant resources is a work in progress. If you would like to contribute to this project, contact the OTL&LS Administrator at administrator@otleaders.org to propose works that can be considered to add to the list.

Get Involved

This compilation of historically relevant resources is a work in progress. If you would like to contribute to this project, contact the OTL&LS Administrator at administrator@otleaders.org to propose web-based resources that can be considered to add to this list.

State OT Associations

Connecticut OT Association (ConnOTA): History of ConnOTA

  • The History of ConnOTA website, constructed by ConnOTA historian Judith Sheehan, OTR/L contains a variety of photos, articles, documents, newsletters, annual reports, and other historical documents and resources of interest.

Maryland Occupational Therapy Association (MOTA): Maryland Centennial History

  • The Historical Committee of the MOTA in partnership with Towson University’s (TU) Cook Library has compiled several important historical works related to the history of Maryland, including an article about the early beginnings at Sheppard Pratt. This site also includes synopses of interviews with prominent OTs in Maryland's history.

Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association (POTA): The History of POTA

  • The POTA has compiled several historical resources including a video about the history of POTA, the Philly School of Occupational Therapy, the founding of POTA, the development of the COTA and the first OTA school, and the profession’s major trends in Pennsylvania. Plans are underway to collect interviews from past POTA presidents to gain a greater historical perspective of Pennsylvania’s rich history and to conduct interviews about the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee's (POTPAC) history.

Texas Occupational Therapy Association (TOTA)

  • The Texas Occupational Therapy Association has collected several oral and written histories of diverse leaders. Histories highlighting Black History Month and National Hispanic American Heritage Month can be located on their member highlights webpage; an additional oral history focused on celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month is in an interview with Lauro Munoz posted to YouTube.

University Resources

University of Scranton

University of Scranton: Historical OT resources

  • This online historical research guide was developed for University of Scranton graduate students to inform their Leadership in Occupational Therapy historical analysis assignment and includes electronic access to seminal historical resources including e-journals (e.g., Archives of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation, The Modern Hospital, Trained Nurse and Hospital Review), e-books (e.g., Tracy 1914, Barton 1919, Dunton 1918), and links to print and online databases.

  • Information on this historical analysis assignment can be obtained by contacting Dr. Fleming-Castaldy at rita.fleming-castaldy@scranton.edu.

The Fred Sammons Archive Project

The Fred Sammons Archive Project, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center

  • Fred Sammons is an internationally recognized pioneer in the design, construction, and distribution of adaptive devices, therapeutic equipment, and assistive technology which enables persons with disabilities to engage in their desired activities. The Fred Sammons Archive Project housed in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center includes physical artifacts, a digitized and searchable online database, and more than 30 hours of video that tell the story of Fred’s career as an occupational therapist, inventor, business owner, and philanthropist.

The Tufts University Occupational Therapy Historical Digital Collection and Archives

The Tufts University Department of Occupational Therapy Historical Digital Collection and Archives date back to its inception as The Boston School of Occupational Therapy (BSOT) founded in 1918. The collection includes records, newsletters, early books on occupational therapy practices, theses, digitized images and other information about the faculty, alumni and curriculums.

Texas Woman's University

Texas Woman's University: Historical OT archives

Dalhousie University School of Occupational Therapy

Dalhousie University School of Occupational Therapy: History of OT in Atlantic Canada

USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy: Archive at the Center for Occupation and Lifestyle Redesign

Jefferson University

Emily Balog, PhDc, MS, OTR/L gave a lecture on Racism and Occupational Injustice provides a foundation for reflection on the historical and political policies that contributed to and sustains the occupational marginalization of people of color and for informed discussion about occupational therapy within the context of social and occupational justice.

Additional Resources

Organizations and Websites Providing Historical Resources

  • The American Occupational Therapy Foundation

  • Adapt Online Museum stores articles, videos, music, artifacts, and more to represent over 30 years of history of a grassroots disability rights organization.

  • Crip Camp Educational Curriculum: This free curriculum was developed to “extend the knowledge and understanding of disability and of disabled people offered in the film Crip Camp”. It provides frameworks for facilitating discussion, encouraging critical thinking, and promoting action related to the lived experiences and issues presented in Crip Camp | A Disability Revolution. Resources include discussion guides for parents and educators and lesson guides on Media Literacy; Power and Disability Justice; Power and Civil Rights, Ableism, Language & Power; and Strategic Use of Privilege & Power. All curriculum resources are available in English and Spanish.