The mouse is a prime organism of choice for modelling human disease. Over 450 inbred strains of mice have been described, providing a wealth of different genotypes and phenotypes for genetic and other studies. As new strains are generated and others become extinct, it is useful to review periodically what strains are available and how they are related to each other, particularly in the light of available DNA polymorphism data from microsatellite and other markers. We describe the origins and relationships of inbred mouse strains, 90 years after the generation of the first inbred strain. Given the large collection of inbred strains available, and that published information on these strains is incomplete, we propose that all genealogical and genetic data on inbred strains be submitted to a common electronic database to ensure this valuable information resource is preserved and used efficiently.