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?
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!
|Series||Control Symbol||Title||Contents dates|
|A2008||WHOLE SERIES||Whole series - Name Index Cards for Personal Benefit Case Files and correspondence files, single number series with alphabetical prefixes ("A" - "G") 1947-1974||1947 - 1974|
|A3269||Q4||[The Official History of the Operations and Administration of Special Operations Australia (SOA), also known as the Inter-Allied Services Department (ISD) and Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD) - Volume 4 - Training Syllabi - Part 4 - Handbook on Telecommunications and Railway Sabotage]||1942 - 1943|
|A6122||803||CPA [Communist Party of Australia] (NSW) Southern Miners' Branch||1952 - 1957|
|A1838||3107/38/5/13 PART 1||China - Relations with Australia - Economic and trade - Joint economic research project||1980 - 1985|
|A1533||1955/4798||Francis Jack PYKE||1955 - 1955|
|A13373||B2(e)||Information from Overseas Parliaments - New Zealand||25 Jun 1982 - 12 Aug 1982|
|K1215||W259/57/25||Disposals - Rottnest||1958 - 1963|
|A1838||181/1/4 PART 1||Middle East - Joint Intelligence Committee weekly review of Middle East||1956 - 1957|
|A1209||1976/232 PART 4||Seas and Submerged Lands Act (Including High Court Challenge)||1976 - 1976|
|A13147||NSR 280||National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - Stevedoring Industry Commission. Order No 4, 5, 10-20||31 Jan 1947 - 11 Apr 1947|
|A13256||221/4/1 PART 1||Vientiane - Laos relations with Australia - political general||20 Sep 1960 - 05 Dec 1967|
|A7322||5||General administrative files - Defence Sub-Committee - Correspondence - Mr D E Bertholsen - confidential||17 Sep 1978 - 03 Mar 1981|
|A13147||NSR 11||National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations and National Security (Emergency Control) Regulations. Reg 4 (CB.2-3); Reg 53 (CB.4); Reg 54 (CB.5-69); Reg 55 (CB.70-83); Reg 5 (CB.84)||06 Sep 1942 - 07 Oct 1942|
|A1838||3034/7/4 PART 9||Indonesia - ASEAN||1979 - 1986|
|E72||DL2706||[Portion of Title Expunged] Robert Frodsham - Long, Neil Trevor - Long, Betty Merle||1954 - 1954|
|E72||D10341/6||[Portion of Title Expunged] Christine Isobel - William James - Feeney Mr and Mrs||1961 - 1962|
|A1838||250/11/18 PART 11||USA - Defence - ANZUS||1983 - 1984|
|A1838||3000/2/9 PART 13||Australian policy towards Indo China||1980 - 1980|
|B73||R16525||RICH, William Frederick [2 cm]||1919 - 1982|
|A13883||204/7 PART 9||Singapore internal security||22 Oct 1968 - 02 Sep 1969|