In the last ten years, the chemistry and physics of materials with layered structures became an intensively investigated field in the study of the solid state. Research into physical properties of these crystals and especially investigations of their physical anisotropy related to the structural anisotropy has led to remarkable and perplexing results. Most of the layered materials exist in several polytypic modifications and can include stacking faults. The crystal structures are therefore complex and it became apparent that there was a great need for a review of the crystallographic data of materials approximating two-dimensional solids. This second volume in the series 'Physics and Chemistry of Materials with Layered Structures' has been written by specialists of different classes of layered materials. Structural data are reviewed and the most important relations between the structure and the chemical and physical properties are emphasized. The first three contributions are devoted to the transition metal dichalcogenides whose physical properties have been investigated in detail. The crystallographic data and crystal growth conditions are presented in the first paper. The second paper constitutes an incisive review of the phase transformations and charge density waves which have been observed in the metallic dichalcogenides. In two contributions the layered structures of newer ternary compounds are de- scribed and the connection between structure and n-stoichiometry is discussed.