The collagens form a large family of proteins. Collagen fibrils, composed of staggered arrays of fibrillar collagen molecules (types I, II, III, V and XI), provide a supporting scaffold for extracellular matrices of connective tissues. The non-fibrillar collagens are less abundant than the fibrillar collagens, but it is becoming clear that they have important functions in the matrix. Recently, a group with unique structural characteristics has been defined and named the FACIT (Fibril-Associated Collagens with Interrupted Triple-helices) group. There is evidence that these collagens may serve as molecular bridges that are important for the organization and stability of extracellular matrices.