Analysis of cloned sequences for yeast histone genes H2A and H2B reveals that there are only two copies of this pair of genes within the haploid yeast genome. Within each copy, the genes for H2A and H2B are separated by approximately 700 bp of spacer DNA. The two copies are separated from one another in the yeast genome by a minimum distance of 35-60 kb. Sequence homology between the two copies is restricted to the genes for H2A and H2B; the spacer DNA between the genes is nonhomologous. In both copies, the genes for H2A and H2B are divergently transcribed. In addition, both plasmids code for other nonhistone proteins. Sequences coding for histones H3 and H4 have not been detected in the immediate vicinity of the genes for H2A and H2B.