Phage display of antibody libraries has been widely used for over a decade to generate monoclonal antibodies. Yeast display has been developed more recently. Here the two approaches were directly compared using the same HIV-1 immune scFv cDNA library expressed in phage and yeast display vectors and using the same selecting antigen (HIV-1 gp120). Yeast display was shown to sample the immune antibody repertoire considerably more fully than phage display, selecting all the scFv identified by phage display and twice as many novel antibodies. Positive phage display selection appeared to largely reflect those antibodies that as phage-scFv gave the highest signal in phage ELISAs assessing antigen binding. This signal is thought to reflect the efficiency of expression of folded scFv at the phage surface. Increased access to immune repertoires may increase the rescue of novel antibodies of therapeutic or analytical value that often form a minor part of a typical antibody response.