Two collections of oligonucleotides have been designed for preparing pangenomic human and mouse microarrays. A total of 148,993 and 121,703 oligonucleotides were designed against human and mouse transcripts. Quality scores were created in order to select 25,342 human and 24,109 mouse oligonucleotides. They correspond to: (i) a BLAST-specificity score; (ii) the number of expressed sequence tags matching each probe; (iii) the distance to the 3' end of the target mRNA. Scores were also used to compare in silico the two microarrays with commercial microarrays. The sets described here, called RNG/MRC collections, appear at least as specific and sensitive as those from the commercial platforms. The RNG/MRC collections have now been used by an Anglo-French consortium to distribute more than 3500 microarrays to the academic community. Ad hoc identification of tissue-specific transcripts and a approximately 80% correlation with hybridizations performed on Affymetrix GeneChiptrade mark suggest that the RNG/MRC microarrays perform well. This work provides a comprehensive open resource for investigators working on human and mouse transcriptomes, as well as a generic method to generate new microarray collections in other organisms. All information related to these probes, as well as additional information about commercial microarrays have been stored in a freely-accessible database called MEDIANTE.