Evolutionary biologists from Darwin forward have dreamed of having data that would elucidate our understanding of evolutionary history and the diversity of life. Sequence capture is a relatively old DNA technology, but its use is growing rapidly due to advances in (i) massively parallel DNA sequencing approaches and instruments, (ii) massively parallel bait construction, (iii) methods to identify target regions and (iv) sample preparation. We give a little historical context to these developments, summarize some of the important advances reported in this special issue and point to further advances that can be made to help fulfill Darwin’s dream.