Translational studies that assess and extend observations made in animal models of human pathology to elucidate relevant and important determinants of human diseases require the availability of viable human tissue samples. However, there are a number of technical and practical obstacles that must be overcome in order to perform cellular and electrophysiological studies of the human heart. In addition, changing paradigms of how diseases are diagnosed, studied and treated require increasingly complex integration of rigorous disease phenotyping, tissue characterization and detailed delineation of a multitude of “_omics”. Realizing the need for quality-controlled human cardiovascular tissue acquisition, annotation, biobanking and distribution, we established the Translational Cardiovascular Biobank & Repository at Washington University School of Medicine. Several critical details are essential for the success of cardiovascular biobanking including coordinated, trained and dedicated staff members; adequate, nonrestrictive informed consent protocols; and fully integrated clinical data management applications for annotating, tracking and sharing of tissue and data resources. Labor and capital investments into growing biobanking resources will facilitate collaborative efforts aimed at limiting morbidity and mortality due to heart disease and improving overall cardiovascular health.