The microsurgical anatomy of the superficial cortical veins was examined in 20 cerebral hemispheres. The superficial cortical veins are divided into three groups based on whether they drain the lateral, medial, or inferior surface of the hemisphere. The veins on the three surfaces are further subdivided on the basis of the lobe and cortical area that they drain. The superficial cerebral veins collect into four groups of bridging veins: a superior sagittal group, which drains into the superior sagittal sinus; a sphenoidal group, which drains into the sphenoparietal and cavernous sinuses on the inner surface of the sphenoid bone; a tentorial group, which converges on the sinuses in the tentorium; and a falcine group, which empties into the inferior sagittal or straight sinus or their tributaries. The superior sagittal group drains the superior part of the medial and lateral surfaces of the frontal, parietal, and occipital lobes and the anterior part of the basal surface of the frontal lobe. The sphenoidal group drains the parts of the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes adjoining the sylvian fissure. The tentorial group drains the lateral surface of the temporal lobe and the basal surface of the temporal and occipital lobes. The falcine group drains an area that includes the cingulate and parahippocampal gyri and approximates the cortical parts of the limbic lobe of the brain. The relationship of these veins to the venous lacunae was also examined.