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
A4477 WHOLE SERIES Name index cards for personal benefit case files and correspondence files with alphabetical prefixes (A-G) Ministerial Representations from Members of the House of Representatives and Federal Departments. 1951 - 1974
A1838 3038/2/1 PART 25 Portuguese Timor - Political and General 1982 - 1982
A1838 3034/7/8/2 PART 3 Indonesia - Territorial waters - Straits 1972 - 1980
A7322 53 General administrative files - Defence Sub-Committee - Briefing papers - Defence force structure - Navy 02 May 1980 - 12 Dec 1983
B2111 EST 13 PART 2 Dance Band 1942 - 1945
A5897 142/1 Intelligence - Military UK/US Int Exchange. 1963 - 1967
A6135 K29/11/72/12 Aboriginal people and torres strait islander peoples - Oenberna burial ground, Arnhemland 1972 - 1972
A2487 1922/7806 [Mrs Rubee MacLennon - Request for assistance] 1922 - 1922
MP729/6 39/401/525 AEME Workshop Installation in Eastern Australia 1943 - 1943
K26 MX20585 VOL 2 William Francis Burrows 1955 - 1963
PP872/1 MKM33719 CORKERY, Keith Ralph - Service Number - 5/400114 1953 - 1958
AWM54 179/3/5 [Chemical Warfare - Types of Agents:] Captured Materiel Technical Report No 13 - "German Lachrymatory Grenade or Candle", by 41st Chemical Laboratory Company, Oct 1944 1944 - 1944
PP946/1 MKM33968 CASSIDY, James Robert Mcgowan - Service Number - WX11323 1941 - 1979
PP860/1 MX21216 SYME William W243773 WX33389 1940 - 1983
A6135 K4/11/83/8 Aboriginal people and torres strait islander peoples - Tribal - Aboriginals on Bathurst Island decorated for corroboree (by N. McLeod) 1983 - 1983
A432 1930/1427 Territory for the Seat of Govt. Motor Traffic Ordinance 1926-27. Barton's Motor Omnibus Service 1930 - 1930
A3963 S6/13 I.C.I. Australia Ltd. 1974 - 1975
D362 MX5813 Charles John 1952 - 1958
B26 MX31085 PART 1 RICHEY, Arthur Clarence 1940 - 1994
PP913/1 MX54239 Frederick John Hatcher 1914 - 1960