Volume holographic gratings are recorded and retrieved in two commercially available glasses: Schott Foturan and Hoya PEG3. These materials are photoetchable, which describes their major application, but they also allow storage of volume holograms without any chemical etching. The samples are illuminated with ultraviolet light at a wavelength of 325 nm and thermally processed to achieve a maximum diffraction efficiency of ≈9% for a 1-mm-thick sample. The two glasses show similar behavior; the diffraction efficiencies in Foturan tend to be slightly larger, whereas PEG3 tends to have weaker light scattering. © 2005 Optical Society of America.