The OAICC was founded by the late Derek C. Davidson in 1982 on behalf of all those who are interested in collecting the material evidence for our optical past. There are about 200 members from many countries including the UK, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, South Africa and the United States of America. Regular visits and excursions are arranged to museums and private collections, both in the UK and abroad. It celebrated its' 32nd Anniversary in 2014 and issued the 129th edition of the quarterly Club Journal 'Ophthalmic Antiques' in October that year.
Members have many interests covering the development of spectacles (including oriental spectacles), pince-nez, eyebaths, ophthalmic instruments, spyglasses, opera glasses, prints and antique books. A newsletter is published quarterly with articles of general and specialised interest, along with auction news and details of club excursions (both in the UK and abroad) and publications.