A set of genomic plasmid banks was constructed using the centromere-containing yeast shuttle vector YCp50. The centromere-containing vector is useful for the isolation of genes that are toxic to yeast when present in high copy number. Fourteen independent banks were prepared each with an average representation of two to three times the yeast genome. Any individual plasmid from a given bank is guaranteed to be of independent origin from plasmids obtained from each of the other banks. The banks were constructed from three different size classes of DNA fragments that resulted from varying conditions of partial digestion with Sau3A. This avoided the bias caused by differential sensitivity of sites to cleavage with Sau3A. Insert DNA is sufficiently large that most genes will be present in the set of plasmid banks at a frequency of about 0.1%.