Recent achievements in genomics have created an infrastructure of biological information. The enormous success of genomics promptly induced a subsequent explosion in proteomics technology, the emerging science for systematic study of proteins in complexes, organelles, and cells. Proteomics is developing powerful technologies to identify proteins, to map proteomes in cells, to quantify the differential expression of proteins under different states, and to study aspects of protein-protein interaction. The dynamic nature of protein expression, protein interactions, and protein modifications requires measurement as a function of time and cellular state. These types of studies require many measurements and thus high throughput protein identification is essential. This review will discuss aspects of mass spectrometry with emphasis on methods and applications for large-scale protein identification, a fundamental tool for proteomics.