Electron energy-loss near-edge structure data for the N K and the Cr L 2,3 edges of CrN and Cr2N have been acquired in order to distinguish between these chromium nitride modifications. The N K edge spectra of these compounds have been modelled using both band structure and multiple scattering methods. We compare the results of these calculations with the experimental edges which have been recorded using a conventional transmission electron microscope (TEM) as well as a monochromated TEM (Wien filter).