The Cooperative Human Tissue Network is a group composed of cooperating academic institutions that supply human tissues to researchers studying a wide range of neoplastic and other diseases. The experience of the Cooperative Human Tissue Network in establishing methods of prospective tissue collection and in developing tumor banks is discussed to aid institutions in establishing tissue resources for their local investigators, who may wish to use human tissues in current or future research projects. The advantages to pathology departments and to associated medical institutions of establishing an organized tissue resource include ensuring proper institutional review board approval of research projects using human tissues, protecting diagnostic specimens, creating new opportunities for extramural research, increasing the speed of diagnostic specimen transport to surgical pathology, and providing educational and research opportunities for pathologists and pathology residents. Methods of tissue collection, processing, storage, data collection, and supply are outlined. Also, resources necessary to begin organized tissue collection, including personnel, space, equipment, and supplies, are discussed.