Bulk and surface-damage thresholds of photo-thermo- refractive glasses used for hologram writing were measured after different stages of development. Values obtained are compared with threshold from widely used glasses, such as BK7 or fused silica. Polished glass samples were exposed to 325-nm He-Cd laser radiation and thermodeveloped at 520 degrees C. Nd-glass, nanosecond laser pulses were used to irradiate the bulk and surfaces of glasses. It was found that laser-induced damage thresholds of photo-thermo- refractive glasses are within a factor of 2-4 of those for fused silica or BK7 glass. This indicates that phase element made from these glasses are promising candidates for use in high-power laser systems. Possible mechanisms of laser- induced damage are discussed.© (1999) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.