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
PP946/1 MSR37598 MCCARTHY, Geoffrey William - Service Number - WX42337, 5/1323 1946 - 1980
C141 WHOLE SERIES [Veteran's Affairs] Personal case files, single number series with 'AGX'prefix (Australian 'Act of Grace', 1939-1945 War) 1955 - 1982
A1838 1558/1/44 PART 37 International Court of Justice - Advisory opinions French Nuclear tests Australia vs France 1972 - 1973
B73 M40742 Watt, Robert [1.00 cms] 1917 - 1972
A9816 1944/584 Not in bundle 01 Jan 1800 - 01 Jan 1800
AWM54 244/2/26 PART 15 [Demolitions - Schemes:] Demolition Reconnaissance Reports by 15 Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps, Location Queensland (Oct 1943) [Part 15 of 15] 1943 - 1943
M3357 REPORT 2 Review of Australia's defence exports and defence industry - Vol.1 - copy 18 of 30 1986 - 1986
A1928 1181/35/10/2 WA SECTION 4 War. Emergency Civil Medical Practitioners Service Returns of Expenditure. Queries regarding Accounts and Fees (Western Australia) Section 4 1945 - 1946
A1838 720/4/9 PART 21 Australian atomic energy - Uranium enrichment non proliferation aspects 1979 - 1979
A2487 1921/2803 [James William Armstrong - Medical history] 1921 - 1921
MP927/1 A251/6/149 Min Reps Mr. Lucock MP - investigation case of alleged rape - 1 RAR 1959 - 1959
M1827 141 [Sir Harry Gibbs (Chief Justice, High Court of Australia)] Sittings 1983 18 Jan 1983 - 07 Oct 1983
B337 357 JACKSON, Irene 1961 - 1961
A1209 1965/6501 Admission to Australia of communist propaganda on Vietnam 1965 - 1965
A6122 482 Communist Party of Australia - Unemployed Relief Committee Western Australia 1949 - 1949
A12987 S50 Senate Select Committee on Medical and Hospital Costs - Submissions No 2 of 3 Bundles - Metropolitan Hospitals' Association Jun 1968 - Jul 1968
A432 1929/748 Attorney-General's Department: Income Tax Assessment Act 1922-1928 - Question of Power to make valid Regulations under Section 16C 1929 - 1929
A1838 73/1/1 PART 8 Yugoslavia - Foreign policy - General 1978 - 1983
A11116 CA265 PART 5 Royal Commission on Security and Intelligence Agencies 08 Jul 1985 - 09 Dec 1986
A3092 221/11/6 PART 4B Netherlands New Guinea 01 Aug 1961 - 18 Sep 1961