An 80,000 base-pair region from the gene locus encoding the variable regions of the human immunoglobulins of the kappa type (V kappa genes) was cloned and analysed. The region comprises five V kappa sequences of subgroup I and one interspersed V kappa pseudogene of subgroup II. The six genes and pseudogenes are arranged at different distances but in the same orientation. The organization of the cluster can be explained by a series of amplification steps; the existence of a V kappa II pseudogene in a V kappa I gene cluster may have been the result of a transposition event; a final duplication step led to a second closely related copy of the cluster. From sequence data for altogether 16,000 base-pairs it appears that gene conversion-like events and subsequent selection contribute to both homogeneity and diversity of the V kappa repertoire.