Founded in 1980, OLAC is an organization for catalogers concerned with all types of nonprint materials, including a wide range of digital resources as well as more “traditional” formats: video and sound recordings, websites, maps, multimedia, graphic materials, and realia. Through conferences, workshops, publications, and the electronic discussion list, catalogers exchange information and enjoy expert and practical advice on cataloging audiovisual resources. OLAC became an ALA affiliate in 2008.



  • 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)
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