The Archives and Museum of Optometry is an entity of Optometry Cares--The AOA Foundation. The Archives & Museum of Optometry serves as a repository of information and resources on the history of the American Optometric Association and the profession of optometry. We collect materials which help document the history of the AOA and its related organizations, optometry and related subjects, and the provision of optometric care.
The museum collections include eyeglasses, contact lenses, instruments, and other artifacts that show the history of eyewear and the optical industry as well as methods of vision testing and care. Our permanent virtual exhibits are galleries of our most unique objects. Viewing objects and exhibits is available by appointment.
Donors to the Archives & Museum play a vital role in contributing to the preservation of this history. Please note, however, that due to collection restrictions and space constraints, we are not able to accept all donations.
Examples of materials considered for inclusion in the collection include:
- Publications, documents, reports, etc. published or distributed by the AOA or directly related to the AOA and its history
- Biographical items pertaining to optometrists including personal papers or photographs related to their profession, involvement in the AOA, or related materials
- Rare reference books about the history of optometry or eyewear. We cannot accept textbooks.
- Early optometric journals and newsletters
- Materials related to state organizations affiliated with the AOA
- Ephemera such as advertisements, trade catalogs, brochures, and programs related to the AOA or affiliated state associations
At this time, we are not able to accept any additional artifacts or equipment for the museum.
The Archives & Museum of Optometry retains unconditional ownership of any donation and makes the final decision on the use or disposal of any gift. The Archives & Museum does not provide financial appraisals of any object or collection. Donors are encouraged to seek an independent appraisal prior to making a donation. The Archives & Museum reserves the right to decide on the conditions of display, storage, and access to materials in the collection.
To inquire about donating optometric papers, photographs, and other historical items, please contact the Archives & Museum of Optometry, Optometry Cares™ – the AOA Foundation.
Kirsten Hébert, Heritage Services Specialist