We have recently completed the first generation scanning photoemission microscope at beamline X1A at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), the XLSPEM. The instrument is designed to use the soft x-ray unduiator at the NSLS as a high brightness source to illuminate a Fresnel zone plate, thus forming a finely focused probe, <0.4 //m in size, on the specimen surface. A grating monochromator selects the photon energy in the 400-80(3 eV range with an energy resolution of 0.8-2 eV. The flux in the zone plate focus is in the 108–109 photons/s range. A single pass cylindrical mirror analyzer (CMA) is used to record photoemission spectra, or to form an image within a fixed electron energy bandwidth as the specimen is mechanically scanned. The best one-dimensional resolution achieved so far is 0.1 fixn, as judged by the 25%-75% intensity rise across an edge. This is close to the diffraction limit of the zone plate used. Due to astigmatism introduced by the beamline optics, the two-dimensional resolution in the plane of least confusion is presently limited to 0.4 //m. Images of a microelectronic device are presented, along with some representative spectra, to demonstrate the present capabilities. With an upgrade of the beamline optics, and a new generation of zone plates, the two-dimensional spatial resolution in a second generation instrument is anticipated to be about 50 nm. © 1991, American Vacuum Society. All rights reserved.