Modern military mission scenarios require very efficient access to multiple, large databases. Static `reference' databases and highly volatile databases which contain intelligence from sensors and other sources must be processed, cross referenced, and correlated. An architecture has been developed for a content addressable (associative) optical memory system. The system exploits the parallel access capabilities of optical disk memories to provide keyword correlation of free form text or structured databases within one revolution of the disk. The system consists of an optical disk drive augmented with an optical correlator and related electronics and software. The search string (keyword) is loaded into a spatial light modulator and optical matched filtering provides massively parallel readout to locate the desired data patterns on the disk. A digital degree-of-match (DOM) word is generated for each sector on the disk. Post processing based in digital electronics and software performs fuzzy computations to combine the DOMs for the current and previous keywords enabling the system to efficiently perform multi-step, content-based searches of the disk. Data stored in the best matching sectors is retrieved during the next revolution of the disk using the drive's standard read mechanism. The sustained processing rate of the optical correlator is 71 gigabits per second.