The linkage between 5S ribosomal DNA and other multigene families has been detected in many eukaryote lineages, but whether it provides any selective advantage remains unclear. In this work, we report the occurrence of linked units of 5S ribosomal DNA (5S rDNA) and U1 small nuclear DNA (U1 snDNA) in 10 razor shell species (Mollusca Bivalvia Pharidae) from four different genera. We obtained several clones containing partial or complete repeats of both multigene families in which both types of genes displayed the same orientation. We provide a comprehensive collection of razor shell 5S rDNA clones, both with linked and nonlinked organisation, and the first bivalve U1 snDNA sequences. We predicted the secondary structures and characterised the upstream and downstream conserved elements, including a region at -25 nucleotides from both 5S rDNA and U1 snDNA transcription start sites. The analysis of 5S rDNA showed that some nontranscribed spacers (NTSs) are more closely related to NTSs from other species (and genera) than to NTSs from the species they were retrieved from, suggesting birth-and-death evolution and ancestral polymorphism. Nucleotide conservation within the functional regions suggests the involvement of purifying selection, unequal crossing-overs and gene conversions. Taking into account this and other studies, we discuss the possible mechanisms by which both multigene families could have become linked in the Pharidae lineage. The reason why 5S rDNA is often found linked to other multigene families seems to be the result of stochastic processes within genomes in which its high copy number is determinant.