The solution-phase synthesis of two 1000-membered positional scanning libraries of distamycin A analogues is described enlisting acid/base liquid-liquid extractions for isolation and purification of all intermediates and final products. The results of their screening for functional activity (L1210 cytotoxic potency) and DNA binding affinity were compared with those derived from libraries containing the same compound members but prepared in a smaller 10-compound mixture format. The positional scanning libraries, which are substantially less demanding to prepare, allowed the accurate detection of the global observations and the clearly more potent activities, but more subtle discoveries and less distinguishable activities were not detected. This is a natural consequence of testing the larger 100-compound mixtures and the relative insensitivity of the assays to the contribution of any single, uniquely acting compound in the mixture. Thus, the disadvantages associated with the loss of some information contained within the library must be balanced against the advantages of the ease of library synthesis and judged in light of the library screening objectives.