- 1961 - 2007 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
A Director of Information Services was first appointed in September of 1950, with the objective of coordinating with the press and developing public opinion in member countries (D-R/20 and D-R/26). Originally, the Information Service did not draft Press Releases, or any other printed materials, but instead coordinated with member nations and press agencies (D-D/186). The communiqués and releases published by NATO starting in 1949 are often created by the committees or divisions themselves. By 1954, the Information Directorate were jointly issuing Press Communiqués with the press services of member nations (AC/52-D/38). In 1957, a Press Section was split from the Information Section in order to manage daily contact with journalists (PO/57/859). Releases were managed by the governments and press services of the member nations with input and information from the Press Section. By the 1960s, releases for ministerial meetings became more common and communiqués were issued for a variety of purposes. By 1994, NATO, SHAPE and AFSOUTH documentation, including communiqués, press releases, speeches and newsletters became available via the “NATO Online” list server (PR/CP(94)24). The following year, a website was developed to host NATO information of public value. Documents would be available both in print and online. In March 2008, a new website was launched and the paper copies of Press Releases were discontinued.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The Series includes a large collection of NATO Press Releases from 1961 to the Present, including official meeting notices, advisories, decisions, speeches, background information, comments, and statements made by press officers, the secretary general and ministers from NATO nations. The series also includes communiqués from the Defence Planning Group, the Eurogroup, NATO Ministerial meetings, the Special Consultative Group, the Nuclear Planning Group and the North Atlantic Council.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
The series was organised in multiple ways throughout its history. The majority of documents are marked with “Press Release” followed by a two digit year, and then a number. Press Release(80)1 would be the first press release from 1980. Communiqués from specific divisions or committees might be arranged as “Press Communiqués M” followed by a date, or just marked as “M” followed by the committee, such as M-DPC-1(76), for a Defence Planning Group release from 1976.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
NATO publicly disclosed information is available for research and education purposes. Any commercial use requires the written permission of NATO. Please credit the NATO Archives should any documents be used for publication. Guidelines for the proper citation of NATO publicly disclosed information can be found on the NATO Archives website (http://www.nato.int/archives).
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
French and English versions of the Press Releases are available. In some cases, such as with shorter statements, the document was produced with English and French on a single page.
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
See also the NATO Speech collection and the PDD Publications for more on NATO Information Services.
Copies of Press Releases and Communiqués were routinely deposited in the Archives and collected into one Series. Since 2008 all Press Releases have been available exclusively though the main NATO website, available through this link:
Also available on the main website are complete collections of legacy Press Releases (1994 to 2006 for International Staff and 1996 to 2008 for the International Military Staff): www.nato.int/docu/pr/