Large-insert genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries of two culturally and economically important oyster species, Crassostrea virginica and C. gigas, have been developed as part of an international effort to develop tools and reagents that will advance our ability to conduct genetic and genomic research. A total of 73,728 C. gigas clones with an average insert size of 152 kb were picked and arrayed representing an 11.8-fold genome coverage. A total of 55,296 clones with an average insert size of 150 kb were picked and arrayed for C. virginica, also representing an 11.8-fold genome coverage. The C. gigas and C. virginica libraries were screened with probes derived from selected oyster genes using high-density BAC colony filter arrays. The probes identified 4 to 25 clones per gene for C. virginica and 5 to 50 clones per gene for C. gigas. We conducted a preliminary analysis of genetic polymorphism represented in the C. gigas library. The results suggest that the degree of divergence among similar sequences is highly variable and concentrated in intronic regions. Evidence supporting allelic polymorphism is reported for two genes and allelic and/or locus specific polymorphism for several others. Classical inheritance studies are needed to confirm the nature of these polymorphisms. The oyster BAC libraries are publicly available to the research community on a cost-recovery basis at www.genome.clemson.edu. © Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006.