Frequently Asked Questions

What is NATO Archives Online?
It is a web based Archival Management System that is accessible to the public for research on historical records released under the public disclosure program.

Where can I find search directives?
See global help at AtoM Advanced Search pages.

What information can I find using this interface?
This interface holds information about the archives that are held at the Archives of NATO Headquarters in Brussels. The system is intended to hold fonds level descriptions about all of our archives under the provision of NATO approved policy on Public Disclosure. More finding aids to help you identify suitable sources of information for your research can be found on our website Publicly Disclosed NATO Documents.

How do I view material within the archives?
When using this catalogue you may find information about a document within an archive that you would like to consult. You can do this in two ways, either by arranging to visit us to view the document for yourself, or if you can't visit, using one of our remote services to access the information you require. Remember to quote the reference code of the archive or item that you are interested in as this will help us to process your request.

What if I can't find what I'm looking for?
It will take time for us to fully populate our catalogue with information about all of the archives that we hold and we will be working on this over the next years while releasing new archival descriptions as they are ready. In the meantime please do contact us if you can't find what you are looking for and our staff will be happy to help you.

Who can I ask for access to information in general?
Email at
Further information about the NATO Archives can be found at: NATO Home Page or NATO Archives Home.

How do I use the catalogue?
Please see the help page for hints and tips on how to use our catalogue and for a glossary of key terms you will encounter when using it.

Do I need to log in?
No, you do not need to log in to use AtoM. You can see all the information that you need to see without logging in.

How was this online catalogue created?
We have used AtoM (Access to Memory) to make this catalogue available. AtoM is a collaborative project with the aim of providing the international archival community with a free, open source software application to manage and provide access to archival descriptions using International Council on Archives standards.

What descriptive standards does the catalogue use?
Our catalogue uses a number of international archival standards. Authority Records are created according to ISAAR (CPF) and Archival Descriptions are created using ISAD (G), both international standards developed by the International Council on Archives.

We also use a wide range of subject terms to index our archives and help users filter their search results more effectively. These have been created from controlled vocabulary of terms of two major international thesauri such as the UNESCO Thesaurus and the US Library of Congress Subject Headings.