Olfactory receptors (OR) are encoded by a large multigene family including hundreds of members dispersed throughout the human genome. Cloning and mapping studies have determined that a large proportion of the olfactory receptor genes are located on human chromosomes 6, 11, and 17, as well as distributed on other chromosomes. In this paper, we describe and characterize the organization of olfactory receptor genes on human chromosome 11 by using degenerate PCR-based probes to screen chromosome 11-specific and whole genome clone libraries for members of the OR gene family. OR genes were identified by DNA sequencing and then localized to regions of chromosome 11. Physical maps of several gene clusters were constructed to determine the chromosomal relationships between various members of the family. This work identified 25 new OR genes located on chromosome 11 in at least seven distinct regions. Three of these regions contain gene clusters that include additional members of this gene family not yet identified by sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of the newly described OR genes suggests a mechanism for the generation of genetic diversity.