Research at SHAPE

SHAPE possesses a large number of historical records going back to the beginning of the headquarters in 1951, but almost all of this material exists solely in the form of microfilm reels which remain highly classified because SHAPE does not have the authority to declassify all of the documents on the reels (many come from the member nations). As a result, there is no public reading room at SHAPE. Access to the classified microfilm reels is therefore limited to researchers from the historical offices of the member nations' ministries of defence/armed forces possessing the necessary security clearance and working on an official project.
Research on the early history of NATO and SHAPE must therefore be done at the Archives of NATO Headquarters in Brussels, which does have a public reading room. For more information see the NATO Archives website at

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