British Association of Occupational Therapists

  • British Association of Occupational Therapists
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


The records comprise the archive of the English Association and of the merged Association and give a representative overview of the work of the BAOT.

Council minutes date from the establishment of the Association and include minutes of a joint Scottish/English Council 1952-1974.

The minutes and associated papers of the Executive Committee and other committees and sub-committees are not as complete: some may have been lost during the move to the present offices in 1989, others disposed of before then.



Physical description

36 boxes


The collection is divided into sections as follows:

A. Annual Reports and Articles of Association

B. Council

C. Ordinary General Meetings with Extraordinary General Meetings

D. Joint Council of Associations of Occupational Therapists

E. Executive Committee

F. Finance Minutes

G. Education and Examinations

H. Other Council Committees and Subcommittees

J. Register of Members and Annual Returns

K. Journals

L. Pamphlets, ephemera etc

M. Registers, Directories, Reference Books

N. Conference Papers

P. Hospital Assessment Forms and Reports

Acquisition note

These records were given to the library at Wellcome Collection by the British Association of Occupational Therapists in August 1997.

Biographical note

A Scottish Association for Occupational Therapy was established in 1932, and the Association of Occupational Therapists in England in 1936. A Joint Council was formed in 1952, and final merger took place in 1974 under the title the British Association of Occupational Therapists.

The BAOT is the only professional, educational and trade union organisation for occupational therapists and support staff in the UK, and is a member of the Committee for Occupational Therapists in the European Communities (COTEC) and the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). It acts to validate and monitor pre-registration courses, guide continuing professional development and to initiate and support research and development into professional practice. It also sets standards of ethical and professional conduct and acts to represent and promote the profession's views and needs to central government, other professional bodies and consumers. Its members have full membership of UNISON, which serves to promote employment rights and conditions.

The BAOT commissioned a history to mark its 25th anniversary in 1999, and to carry out an oral history project with members.

A historical outline follows:

1930 First School of Occupational Therapy opened

1932 Scottish Association for Occupational Therapists formed

1936 Association of Occupational Therapists in England formed

1938 First department of occupational therapy opened, Royal Free Hospital, London

1950 AOT headquarters established at 251 Brompton Road, London SW3

1952 Joint Council of Association of Occupational Therapists in Britain established

Numbers of Regions increased and given larger representation on Council

1952 World Federation of Occuational Therapists inaugural meeting, Liverpool School of Occupational Therapy

1956 Board of Studies reconstituted with responsibility for all educational and examination functions and awarding the diploma

1957 Occupational Therapy established as the official, monthly, journal to replace the quarterly Journal

1957 Statutory Registration of Professions Allied to Medicine introduced

1960 Professions Supplemenatry to Medicine (PSM) Act passed

1974 British Association of Occupational Therapy formed on merger of the two Associations

1974 BAOT moves to 20 Rede Place, Bayswater, London W2

Scottish office moves to 77 George Street, Edinburgh

1978 BAOT becomes a Professional Association and Trade Union. College of Occupational Therapists established as a professional body with charitable status

1986 Committee of Occupational Therapists for the European Communities (COTEC) established

1986 BAOT moves to 6-8 Marshalsea Road, Southwark, London SE1

1992 First Professor of Occupational Therapy appointed, Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh

1993 Occuptional Therapy News (OTN), BAOT house magazine, first published

1993 BAOT sign agreement with UNISON for provision of industrial relations services to members

1998 BAOT moves to 116-122 Borough High Street, Southwark, London SE1

Related material

At Wellcome Collection:

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy archive (SA/CSP).

At other repositories:

A collection of photographs and a series of files about eminent members is still held by the BAOT and a collection of text books is held in the BAOT Library.

Records relating to the Scottish Association of Occupational Therapy, 1932-1974, are held at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

Records of some of the previously independently established training colleges, which are now subsumed into university departments, are still held in situ.

It was reported in the late 1990s that the Science Museum in London planned to start an occupational therapy collection.

Terms of use

This collection has been partially catalogued and the catalogued part is available to library members. Some items have access restrictions which are explained in the item-level catalogue records. Requests to view uncatalogued material are considered on a case by case basis. Please contact for more details.

Accruals note

The following is an interim description of material that has been acquired since this collection was catalogued. This description may change when cataloguing takes place in future:

1 box received October 2002 (acc. 871 ), consisting of: records from the secretary's file of the Tayside Subgroup, Scottish Central Regional Group, 1991-1995; minutes of the Tayside Subgroup, minutes of the Executive Committee, correspondence 1991-1995.

24 boxes received October 2002 (acc. 1094 ), consisting of: committee and regional group minutes, AGM reports, conference papers, journals and annual reports, 1970s-2000s.

8 boxes received April 2004 (acc. 1234 ), consisting of: committee and AGM minutes and supporting papers, publications and conference papers, 1963-2003.

44 boxes received August 2008 (acc. 1606 ), consisting of: additional archives of the following College departments: education, library, marketing, membership and external affairs, practice, research and development, and secretariat.

47 boxes received January 2013 (acc. 1965), consisting of: Additional archives of the following College departments: library, membership and external affairs, marketing, research and development, secretariat, education, and practice.


Abbreviations used in the catalogue:

BAOT: British Association of Occupational Therapists

COTEC: Committee for Occupational Therapists in the European Communities

OT: occupational therapy / occupational therapist

WFOT: World Federation of Occupational Therapists

Permanent link


Accession number

  • 718
  • 871
  • 1094
  • 1130
  • 1234
  • 1391
  • 1606
  • 1965