We have previously located the genes of the five human main type H1 genes and the gene encoding the testicular subtype H1t to the region 21.1 to 22.2 on the short arm of chromosome 6. To investigate the organization of the histone genes in this region, we isolated two YACs from a human YAC library by PCR screening with primers specific for histone H1.1. This screen revealed two YAC clones, YAC Y23 (corresponding to ICRFy901D1223) contains an insert of about 480 kb, whereas the smaller YAC 4A (corresponding to ICRFy900C104) spans about 340 kb and is completely covered by YAC Y23. We have subcloned the YAC inserts in cosmids, determined the linear orientation of the cosmids by cosmid walking, and constructed a restriction map of the entire region by mapping the individual cosmids using partial digests and hybridization with labeled oligonucleotides complementary to the cos site of the vector. Hybridization analysis, subcloning, restriction mapping, and sequencing revealed that most of the previously isolated phage and cosmid clones containing histone genes are part of this YAC including the clones containing the four human main type H1 histone genes H1.1 to H1.4, the H1t gene, and core histone genes. Thirty-five histone genes map within 260 kb of the YAC Y23 insert. All newly identified histone genes were sequenced, and the sequences were deposited with the EMBL nucleotide sequence database. The histone H1.5 gene is not part of this region, and we therefore conclude that the H1.5 gene and the associated core histone genes form a separate subcluster within this chromosomal region.