Closed access

Overview

Under the Australian Archives Act 1983 most Commonwealth records are opened to public scrutiny after twenty years (this was reduced from thirty years in 2010). But the Act also defines ‘exempt’ records that can be withheld from the public for a variety of reasons, including the defence of national security, and the protection of individual privacy. Access under the Act is not an inevitable destination, but a process that may result in records with the access status of ‘closed’.

Here you can explore these closed files. Why can't we look at them? How old are they? What are we really being protected against?

14370

closed files

on 1 January 2016
28

reasons

why these files have been closed
58

years

is the average age of these files
based on their date of their earliest content
1128

series

contain closed files

BE WARNED! This is a work in progress. It's part of an ongoing research project by Tim Sherratt (@wragge). As a result, this interface is likely to change. That said, pretty much everything should work, so feel free to poke around and see what you can find. Have fun!

Here's some examples…

Series Control Symbol Title Contents dates
C156 WHOLE SERIES [Veteran's Affairs] Personal case files, single number series with 'PX' prefix (British pensioners, 1939-1995 War) 1939 - 1995
B1387 83/383 PART 4 Antarctica - United Nations Consideration 1984 - 1984
A12817 17 Inquiry into Voting Rights for Aboriginals - Map 22 Aug 1961 - 22 Aug 1961
A1209 1963/6274 PART A Attack on Police Station at Sarawak 1963 - 1963
M1256 1980B PART 1 [Personal Papers of Prime Minister Fraser] Correspondence '1980B' [relating to B'nai B'rith International, Simmental cattle, sports cars, Liberal Party, Pacific-Asian Congress of Municipalities Proceedings (Adelaide, September 1979) etc] 02 Jan 1980 - 27 Aug 1980
A7324 33 Submissions - Television Equalisation - Australian Council Jan 1987 - Jan 1987
A1209 1985/554 PART 4 Australian Telecommunications Commission - Policy other than finance 1989 - 1990
PP872/1 HKM34538 COTTON, Phillip Rodney - Service Number - A22507 1957 - 1959
M1383 25 PART 1 [Mrs Tamie Fraser] Correspondence 'W' [P Walda - B Westwood, relating to immigration, Walgett (NSW) Pre-School, pensions, Queen of Canberra Quest (1982), Sydney City Mission, Rhodesia, killing of Canadian baby harp seals, anti-smoking campaign, Werribee Park (Victoria), Western Australian Society for Crippled Children, portrait of Malcolm Fraser by Brian Westwood etc] 07 Jan 1976 - 04 Nov 1982
PP902/1 HX62016 VOLUME 1 Frederick Francis Isaacs 1947 - 1966
MP491/1 1958/2553 QUEENSLAND LEGISLATION FOR COURT CONTROLLING UNION BALLOTS 1958 - 1958
B73 M51698 MALONE, Patrick John 1914 - 1951
MP529/2 ZEIGLER/R Dossier of Zeigler, Robert [Richard Albert Theodor Zeigler] - Dossier No. 832 1939 - 1940
A6135 K4/11/83/4 Aboriginal people and torres strait islander peoples - Tribal - Aboriginals on Bathurst Island decorated for corroboree (by N. McLeod) 1983 - 1983
A1838 250/11/16 PART 8 USA - Defence - SALT [Strategic Arms Limitation Talks] 1979 - 1981
A1533 1954/1099 Office seals 1954 - 1961
A13256 201/2/1/3 PART 26 Vientiane - Laos military situation 25 Feb 1970 - 09 Jun 1975
B4069 VP/5/24 Programs - 3MP Mornington Peninsula [1.00 cms] 1976 - 1981
A5027 95 Box of index cards terrorist activities - Croatian community to Trade Union Training Authority Act S25 1973 - 1983
C139 RX65733 TANKO, Vincent Kerr [Repatriation pension file] [1.0cm; box 3536] 1940 - 1948