Accurate determinations of chemical shift anisotropy (CSA) tensors are valuable for NMR of biological systems. In this review we describe recent developments in CSA measurement techniques and applications, particularly in the context of peptides and proteins. These techniques include goniometeric measurements of single crystals, slow magic-angle spinning studies of powder samples, and CSA recoupling under moderate to fast MAS. Experimental CSA data can be analyzed by comparison with ab initio calculations for structure determination and refinement. This approach has particularly high potential for aliphatic C13 analysis, especially Cα tensors which are directly related to structure. Carbonyl and N15 CSA tensors demonstrate a more complex dependence upon hydrogen bonding and electrostatics, in addition to conformational dependence. The improved understanding of these tensors and the ability to measure them quantitatively provide additional opportunities for structure determination, as well as insights into dynamics.