Modern pollen samples provide an invaluable research tool for helping to interpret the Quaternary fossil pollen record, allowing investigation of the relationship between pollen as the proxy and the environmental parameters such as vegetation, land-use, and climate that the pollen proxy represents. The European Modern Pollen Database (EMPD) is a new initiative within the European Pollen Database (EPD) to establish a publicly accessible repository of modern (surface sample) pollen data. This new database will complement the EPD, which at present holds only fossil sedimentary pollen data. The EMPD is freely available online to the scientific community and currently has information on almost 5000 pollen samples from throughout the Euro- Siberian and Mediterranean regions, contributed by over 40 individuals and research groups. Here we describe how the EMPD was constructed, the various tables and their fields, problems and errors, quality controls, and continuing efforts to improve the available data.