Dorset House Archive

Please note that the Dorset House Collection will be unavailable from Tuesday 24th February for a period of 4-6 weeks to allow the collection to be digitized.


The Dorset House Archive documents the history of Dorset House, the first School of Occupational Therapy in the UK. It also includes material relating to the wider history of Occupational Therapy education in Britain from 1930, and papers of the Casson family.

The Dorset House School of Occupational Therapy was opened on New Year's Day 1930, founded by Dr Elizabeth Casson. Over the years the School moved from its original base in Bristol to Bromsgrove and then to Oxford: firstly in Nissen Huts in the grounds of the Churchill Hospital, then to a London Road site in 1964, and eventually as part of Oxford Brookes University to its Marston Road site in 2004.

The collection includes some of the personal papers and books of Dr Casson and the Dorset House Principals. The real treasures of the Archive are the photographs, ciné films and scrap books which capture the true history of Dorset House. Copyright for items has been sourced as far as possible.

Key periods covered by the collection are:

The Archive has been made accessible thanks to a generous grant from the Elizabeth Casson Trust, which has enabled bookstock to be catalogued, the scrapbooks to be conserved and primary sources to be digitised.

Listen to Catherine Lidbetter's talk The Dorset House Archive and the history of the first school of Occupational Therapy in the UK.




For further information, please contact:

Helen Whittaker
Oxford Brookes University
Gipsy Lane
Oxford OX3 0BP
Tel: 44-(0)1865 483139


To search the book collections, use the Library catalogue.

To search the archive collections, use the Archive catalogue.

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