The Dorset House Archive documents the history of Dorset House, the first School of Occupational Therapy in the UK, the Casson family and the wider history of Occupational Therapy education in Britain from 1930 to 1980. The real treasures of the Archive include, the photographs, scrap books and ciné films which capture the true history of Dorset House.
The ciné films have been digitised and are in two parts:
1. A 1944/45 promotional film providing an introduction to Occupational Therapy.
It starts with a definition of OT, an overview of the history of OT education and the structure of the curriculum, then moves on to show work placements. Patient case studies illustrate the successes of therapy. The film ends by reflecting on the scope of the field and the variety of applicants to study OT, finishing with a plea for more candidates to come forward.
Highlights of this film include:
- a brief history of OT education, including footage of Dr Casson, plus Miss MacDonald and her team;
- the therapeutic programme for a patient with cut tendons;
- types of OT for a person with an amputated leg;
- remedial games of the 1940s;
- types of therapy enjoyed by servicemen.
2. A 1946 film with the title "I want to be an OT - I think".
This is another promotional piece aimed at showing just how enjoyable and rewarding OT training can be. The first half focuses on the activities undertaken (craft work and exercise) whilst the second part looks at applications (supporting children, orthopaedic care, mental health applications and work with elderly people). There are exams to be taken but to the final question "is it worth it?" we get a resounding "yes!"