The cell: an image library-CCDB (CIL-CCDB) (http://www.cellimagelibrary.org) is a searchable database and archive of cellular images. As a repository for microscopy data, it accepts all forms of cell imaging from light and electron microscopy, including multi-dimensional images, Z- and time stacks in a broad variety of raw-data formats, as well as movies and animations. The software design of CIL-CCDB was intentionally designed to allow easy incorporation of new technologies and image formats as they are developed. Currently, CIL-CCDB contains over 9250 images from 358 different species. Images are evaluated for quality and annotated with terms from 14 different ontologies in 16 different fields as well as a basic description and technical details. Since its public launch on 9 August 2010, it has been designed to serve as not only an archive but also an active site for researchers and educators.