© 2015 Elsevier Inc.. Exceptional growth in the availability of large-scale clinical imaging datasets has led to the development of computational infrastructures that offer scientists access to image repositories and associated clinical variables data. The EU FP7 neuGRID and its follow on neuGRID4You (N4U) projects provide a leading e-Infrastructure where neuroscientists can find core services and resources for brain image analysis. The core component of this e-Infrastructure is the N4U Virtual Laboratory, which offers easy access for neuroscientists to a wide range of datasets and algorithms, pipelines, computational resources, services, and associated support services. The foundation of this virtual laboratory is a massive data store plus a set of Information Services collectively called the 'Data Atlas'. This data atlas stores datasets, clinical study data, data dictionaries, algorithm/pipeline definitions, and provides interfaces for parameterised querying so that neuroscientists can perform analyses on required datasets. This paper presents the overall design and development of the Data Atlas, its associated dataset indexing and retrieval services that originated from the development of the N4U Virtual Laboratory in the EU FP7 N4U project in the light of detailed user requirements.