History of OLAC


  • The 13th biennial Online Audiovisual Catalogers (OLAC) Conference, Rocking the Metaverse: A/V Cataloging in a Web X.0 Environment, was held jointly with the Music OCLC Users Group (MOUG) in Cleveland, Ohio September 26 – September 28, 2008.
  • OLAC became an ALA affiliate


  • OLAC's twelfth conference "Preparing for a Brave New World: Media Cataloging on the Threshold of RDA" held October 27-29, 2006 in Mesa, AZ



  • OLAC's eleventh conference "Expanding Access: Connecting the Global Community to a Multitude of Formats" held October 1-3, 2004, Montréal, Québec, Canada
  • OLAC is granted an official representation to ALA's Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (CC:DA)



  • OLAC Membership Directory available online
  • OLAC's tenth conference "Electronic and Media Cataloging for the 21st Century" held September 27-29, 2002 in St. Paul, MN
  • CAPC's "Guide to Cataloging DVDs Using AACR2r Chapters 7 and 9" created
  • CAPC's "Summary Notes for Catalog Records" compiled
  • "Introduction to Cataloging Electronic Integrating Resources: An Online Training Presentation" created



  • First OLAC Research Grant awarded to Jean Weihs
  • OLAC's ninth conference (joint conference with MOUG): "Music and Media at the Millennial Crossroads: Special Materials in Today's Libraries" held October 12-15, 2000 in Seattle, WA
  • Online Training Presentation "Implementing the Revised AACR2 Chapter 9 for Cataloging Electronic Resources" created
  • CAPC's "Authority Tools for Audiovisual and Music Catalogers" compiled



  • OLAC-List established (Sue Neumeister, listowner)
  • "Rationale for Cataloging Nonprint Collections" is updated
  • OLAC Award renamed Nancy B. Olson Award (recipient: Sheila A. Smyth)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Nancy B. Olson
  • OLAC's eighth conference: "AV Materials: From the Library's Orphan Child to Cinderella" held November 4-7, 1998 in Charlotte, NC



  • OLAC's seventh conference: "The Audiovisual Commons and the Electronic Future" held October 3-5, 1996 in Denton, TX
  • First conference scholarship winner named: Rebecca L. Lubas
  • OLAC Research Grant offered
  • Kay Johnson wins the "Name the Q&A Column" contest with: "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About AV Cataloging... Please Ask!"



  • Liaison relationship with Association of Moving Image Archivists' Cataloging and Documentation Committee established
  • OLAC's sixth conference (joint conference with MOUG): "New Technologies, New Challenges" held October 5-8, 1994 in Oak Brook, IL
  • "Rationale for Cataloging Nonprint Collections" compiled by CAPC
  • Two Ad Hoc Committees appointed: OLAC Research Grant and OLAC Scholarship
  • Co-sponsored ALA preconference program: "Interactive Multimedia" in Chicago
  • OLAC sponsored publication is published: A Library Manager's Guide to the Physical Processing of Nonprint Materials by Karen Driessen and Sheila Smyth
  • OLAC Web site created (Sue Neumeister, Web manager)
  • OLAC celebrated its 15th birthday after the Saturday night Business meeting on June 24, 1995 in Chicago
  • NACO-AV funnel project set up by Ann Caldwell
  • OLAC membership directory (1995/1996) published



  • CAPC Chair became member of the OLAC Board
  • OLAC "Chair" is changed to OLAC "President"
  • OLAC sponsored publication is published: Cataloging Unpublished Nonprint Materials: A Manual of Suggestions, Comments, and Examples by Verna Urbanski, with Bao Chu Chang and Bernard L. Karon
  • OLAC's fifth conference: "Quantity vs. Quality: Are They Compatible?" held October 1-3, 1992 in Rockville, MD



  • Program of internships to CAPC initiated
  • Co-sponsored ALA program: "More with Less: Minimal-Level Cataloging of AV Materials"
  • OLAC's fourth conference: "Technology: Friend or Foe?" held October 17-19, 1990 in Rochester, NY
  • Officers Handbook completed
  • Establishment of the OLAC Archives at the University of North Florida



  • OLAC's third conference: "Decision-making for AV Catalogers" held November 2-4, 1988 in Culver City, CA



  • Editorial staff of OLAC Newsletter compiled: Editor-in-Chief, Production, Book Review, Conference, Question & Answer, Articles & News
  • Co-sponsored ALA program: "New Directions in Subject Access to Nonbook Matierals"
  • OLAC named the official Machine Readable Data File Users Group for OCLC
  • New York Conference Program: "A Return to the Scene of the Crime" celebrated OLAC's founding in New York and honored Nancy Olson with a presentation and tribute on July 1, 1986
  • OLAC Award guidelines drafted by Laurel Jizba
  • Archives of OLAC documents, reports, and correspondence to be kept by the OLAC Treasurer/Archivist (Cathy Leonardi)
  • OLAC presentation made to OCLC Users Council by Sheila Intner
  • OLAC designated as OCLC's audiovisual users group
  • OLAC's second conference held November 6-7, 1986 at OCLC: "Formats: Old and New"
  • Co-sponsored ALA program: "Coping with Computer Files in the Library"
  • Users Council Executive Committee appointed a Users Council delegate to act as a liaison with OLAC (Susan Besemer)
  • OLAC Award presented for the first time to Verna Urbanski at ALA in San Francisco



  • Joint OLAC/MOUG Conference held April 30-May 1, 1984 at OCLC (OLAC Conference guidelines proposed)
  • Cataloging Policy Committee (CAPC) officially began work in June in Dallas as an OLAC Standing Committee (Verna Urbanski, chair)
  • OLAC co-sponsors ALA program: "Chapter 21, AACR2 and Choice of Access Points for Nonbook Materials, or, How Did We Get From There to Here?"
  • The first Question and Answer Session held after the Business Meeting in Dallas
  • Title of Newsletter changed to OLAC Newsletter
  • Removal of the hyphen in organizations name: OnLine Audiovisual Catalogers
  • Logo contest (winner: Ms. Rosalynde Cowdrey, University of North Florida)
  • Co-sponsored ALA program: "Cataloging of Microcomputer Software Sharing Session"



  • Co-sponsored a panel discussion at ALA on how videorecordings are processed, cataloged and organized at several institutions
  • Establishment of liaisons with the four major bibliographic utilities (OCLC, RLIN, WLN, UTLAS)
  • Co-sponsored ALA program: "The Movies: Organization of Film Libraries about Film"



  • 30 audiovisual catalogers gathered in New York on July 1st to investigate forming an organization to advance the cause of AV cataloging (Nancy Olson, chair)
  • The name of this organization is the On-Line Audiovisual Catalogers
  • First issue of the Newsletter published (Nancy Olson, editor)