About EMDB

The Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMDB) is a public repository for electron cryo-microscopy volume maps and tomograms of macromolecular complexes and subcellular structures. It covers a variety of techniques, including single-particle analysis, electron tomography, and electron crystallography (for more information, see the EMDB Policies).

EMDB was founded at EMBL-EBI in 2002 under the leadership of Kim Henrick. From 2007, the archive has been operated jointly by EMBL-EBI and the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB)a. In 2013, the Protein Data Bank Japan (PDBj) also became involved in EMDB. As of the first of January, 2021, EMDB is an archive operated under the aegis of the Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB), and has also joined that organisation as a full member.

Results of cryo-EM studies are archived in three collaborating archives:

  • EMDB stores the processed 3D volumes and tomograms;
  • PDB stores any atomic models that have been constructed based on EMDB data;
  • EMPIAR stores the raw EM data underpinning the data in EMDB/PDB.

Data for EMDB and PDB can be deposited through the wwPDB deposition and annotation system OneDep.

EMPIAR (Electron Microscopy Public Image Archive) is a companion archive to EMDB, founded at and operated by EMBL-EBI, and with a mirror site at PDBj.

Citing EMDB

Please cite the following publication in your papers and on websites: Lawson CL, Patwardhan A, et al., Berman HM, Kleywegt GJ & Chiu W., “EMDataBank unified data resource for 3DEM.” Nucleic Acids Res. 44, D396-D403 (2016). doi:10.1093/nar/gkv1126. PMID: 26578576; PMCID: PMC4702818.

To cite individual entries, please quote the EMDB accession code(s) and cite the original publication(s) in which the entries are described.

More information

Please see our FAQ, Policies, description of the EMDB data model, or contact the EMDB helpdesk.


The work on EMDB at EMBL-EBI has been funded in the past by the European Commission, NIH, UKRI-BBSRC and EMBL-EBI (through the EMBL member states). It is currently funded by the Wellcome Trust and EMBL-EBI.