HK97 is a temperate dsDNA bacteriophage of Escherichia coli that is structurally similar to phage lambda, with an icosahedral head of triangulation (7) number 7. Although the capsids of several large dsDNA phages have been studied extensively using a variety of biophysical approaches, no high-resolution structure is available. We have grown crystals of mature but empty bacteriophage HK97 capsids that diffract to at least 3.5 A using synchrotron radiation. The HK97 Head II crystals are the first capsid crystals from a dsDNA bacteriophage that diffract X-rays to high resolution. A capsid precursor (prohead) was made in vivo by expressing capsid proteins in E. coli. This prohead was purified, converted to Head II in vitro, and used to grow crystals. The empty Head II has the same form as the mature HK97 capsid, but without DNA. The crystals were grown in a mixture of ammonium sulfate and PEG 8000, directly in an X-ray capillary to minimize crystal handling. The unit cell is monoclinic, with dimensions a = 580 A, b = 625 A, c = 790 A, beta = 90.0 degrees and two particles per unit cell.