Nucleation of recrystallization is studied in situ in the bulk by three-dimensional X-ray diffraction. Copper samples cold rolled 20% are investigated. The crystallographic orientations near triple junction lines are characterized before, during and after annealing. Three nuclei are identified and it is shown that two nuclei are twin related to their parent grain and one nucleus has an orientation, which is neither present in the deformed parent grains nor first order twin related to any of them. Data on the nucleation kinetics is also presented. (c) 2005 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.