Research on the specificities, functions, and maturation of T cells would be greatly aided by a collection of monoclonal antibodies which distinguishes different types of TCR. With this end in mind hamsters were immunized and tested for production of pan-reactive anti-mouse alpha beta TCR antibodies. In this report we describe the properties and uses of a mAb, H57-597, produced from one of these animals. The mAb reacts with surface receptors on all alpha beta TCR-bearing cells and does not react with receptors on gamma delta+ T cells. In an immobilized form, this antibody can directly activate T cells bearing alpha beta TCR. It can be used in immunoprecipitation reactions to precipitate receptor from the appropriate cell types. In combination with anti-CD3, the antibody can be used in cytofluorographic analyses to measure numbers of CD3+, alpha beta+, and CD3+, gamma delta+ cells in the thymus and periphery.