We have obtained the electron‐energy‐loss spectra below 1,000 eV for YBa2Cu3O7−δ. The spectra show contributions from all elemental constituents, although the Y‐signal is very weak owing to its small concentration. The low‐loss region and the Ba‐core losses are very similar to those obtained for BaO. The Cu absorption is similar to that seen in CuO with minor differences relating to Cu concentration and anisotropy. The oxygen 1s absorption has a shape that is quite different from that obtained in CuO and shows striking orientational anisotropy. Radiation damage in the microscope is a problem and leads to changes in the shape of the oxygen edge. Copyright © 1988 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.