Remembering events frequently involves associating objects and their associated locations in space, and it has been implicated that the areas associated with the hippocampus are important in this function. The current study examined the role of the perirhinal cortex in retrieving familiar object–place paired associates, as well as in acquiring novel ones. Rats were required to visit one of two locations of a radial-arm maze and choose one of the objects (from a pair of different toy objects) exclusively associated with a given arm. Excitotoxic lesions of the perirhinal cortex initially impaired the normal retrieval of object–place paired-associative memories that had been learned presurgically, but the animals relearned gradually to the level of controls. In contrast, when required to associate a novel pair of objects with the same locations of the maze, the same lesioned rats were severely impaired with minimal learning, if any, taking place throughout an extensive testing period. However, the lesioned rats were normal in discriminating two different objects presented in a fixed arm in the maze. The results suggest that the perirhinal cortex is indispensable to forming discrete representations for object–place paired associates. Its role, however, may be compensated for by other structures when familiar object–place paired associative memories need to be retrieved.