Series of 10,348 accessions belonging to 21 species (hexaploid, tetraploid, diploid) of the genus Triticum and 489 accessions belonging to 20 species of the genus Aegilops were scored for disease resistance during a period of 60 years. Tests were performed at the seedling stage for powdery mildew (Erysiphe graminis DC. f. sp. tritici March.), leaf rust (Puccinia recondita Rob. ex Desm. f. sp. tritici Erikss.), stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis West. f. sp. tritici Erikss.) and eyespot (Pseudocercosporella herpotrichoides (Fron.) Deight.) but also at the adult plant stage considering powdery mildew, leaf rust, stripe rust, eyespot and glume blotch (Septoria nodorum Berk.). About 150,000 disease scores recorded on index cards using different scoring scales were transferred to the computer, converted into a 1–9 scale and used to summarise the results. Within the genus Triticum 20% of the material analysed was classified as heterogeneous. For the accessions without detectable segregation a large variability for resistance/susceptibility was detected. At the adult plant stage resistant accessions without visible infections were identified for all diseases. The percentages of resistant accessions at that growth stage were always higher than the ones found in the material tested at the seedling stage. The probability for finding resistant material was shown to be highest in the diploid species (> 50%) but decreased with increasing ploidy level to about 10% in the hexaploids. For Aegilops it was shown that most of the accessions were homogeneous and highly resistant against powdery mildew (seedling and adult plant stage), leaf rust (adult plant stage) and eyespot (seedling and adult plant stage/natural infection). The data obtained for the individual accessions are available via Internet (http://www.ipk-gatersleben.de).