Background: During early development, neural circuits fire spontaneously, generating activity episodes with complex spatiotemporal patterns. Recordings of spontaneous activity have been made in many parts of the nervous system over the last 20 years, reporting developmental changes in activity patterns and the effects of various genetic perturbations. Results: We present a curated repository of multielectrode array recordings of spontaneous activity in developing mouse and ferret retina. The data have been annotated with minimal metadata and converted into the HDF5 format. This paper describes the structure of the data, along with examples of reproducible research using these data files. We also demonstrate how these data can be analysed in the CARMEN workflow system. This article is written as a literate programming document; all programs and data described here are freely available. Conclusions: 1. We hope this repository will lead to novel analysis of spontaneous activity recorded in different laboratories. 2. We encourage published data to be added to the repository. 3. This repository serves as an example of how multielectrode array recordings can be stored for long-term reuse.