The Antares CO2 laser system is being constructed at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) to investigate inertial confinement fusion. Antares will be a very large laser system, with 72 beams and a total beam area of some 6 square meters. There will be thousands of optical components, predominantly copper-plated mirrors and sodium chloride windows. To coordinate the specification, procurement, evaluation, and disposition of these components, a centralized Optical Evaluation Laboratory (OEL) is being set up. The OEL is principally a quality-control facility for routinely evaluating the optical performance of components and assemblies with apertures of up to 18-inch diameter. However, the OEL has a much broader involvement and responsibility for the Antares optics. Virtually every piece of optics in Antares will be specified and ordered through the OEL. After acceptance, the OEL will be responsible for tracking the history of each optical com-ponent via a computerized data base. This paper describes the Optical Evaluation Laboratory facility and its operation.