We have examined the messenger RNA which codes for the ribosomal proteins in Ehrlich ascites tumor cells. Poly(A)-containing mRNA was isolated from polysomes and fractionated into 11 size classes whose average molecular weights were between 1.8 × 105 and 24 × 105. These mRNAs were used to direct protein synthesis in a fractionated translational system that was derived completely from Ehrlich ascites tumor cells. More than 90% of the ribosomal proteins which we could identify were coded for by mRNAs averaging in size between Mr = 180 × 103 and 320 × 103. The small size of these mRNAs indicates that the cytoplasmic mRNAs which specify the ribosomal proteins are monocistronic. We could detect the synthesis of 36 of 48 ribosomal reference proteins as well as 20 additional polypeptides which had characteristics similar to ribosomal protein. The ribosomal proteins were identified on the basis of their positive charge, small size, electrophoretic properties on two-dimensional polyacrylamide gels and chromatographic characteristics on carboxymethyl-cellulose.