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
A1838 3107/38 PART 23 China - Relations with Australia 1978 - 1980
D4091 N/1/32 New South Wales Case Files - Edward James MURRAY: N/1/115 Two photographs of contrasting colours - one photo marked exhibit 9B [Box 8] 1981 - 1981
AWM93 2/5/19C/1 PART 9 [Australian War Memorial registry file:] Buildings and Accommodation - AWM Canberra. Roll of Honour - Lists of names to be inscribed, forwarded by Repatriation Department Melbourne 1959 - 1961
E72 DL2325 Eilbracht Shirley Dawn and Gerald Frederic [Portion of Title Expunged] Suzanne Marie Pope 1953 - 1953
A432 1932/647 Financial Agreements Enforcement Acts 1932 New South Wales Totalisator Tax Lachlan Picnic Race Club 1932 - 1932
CP548/1 225 J.G. Turner Pty. Ltd. - Fruit Pulp Tins 1946 - 1946
PP904/1 MX18862 VOL 1 BRIDGES Ernest Leslie Russell WX6892 1940 - 1961
C137 R37582 John Schofield DAVISON [Repatriation case file] [Box A625] 1919 - 1919
A13147 NSR 265 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Heating and Cooking Appliances (Control of Manufacture) Order. Heating and Cooking Order (No 3). Regulation 59 13 Apr 1943 - 17 Jul 1944
A1838 3107/38/5 PART 13 China - Relations with Australia - Economic & Trade Relations - including Civil Aviation 1973 - 1974
B4418 ELLIOT R ELLIOT, Ronald joined 6-1-1902 - Boer War dossier 1974 - 1974
D4082 WB193 Paul James Williams 1960 - 1961
MP171/5 13 Ships' registers - arrivals and departures, Melbourne 01 Jan 1934 - 22 Feb 1936
PP645/1 M22152 William Owen Mansbridge 1915 - 1958
A10756 LC1387 PART 4 New and Permanent Parliament House [Submission Nos. 3853 and 3976 refer] 19 Mar 1979 - 29 May 1980
B4069 VR/4/2A. Broadcasting of Australian music - Arrangements, compositions, performances - Letters to stations re requirements etc - Metropolitan stations [2.00 cms] 1974 - 1978
A6122 560 CPA [Communist Party of Australia] Youth Sub-Committee - Western Australia 1949 - 1949
MP1/1 2/1/80 Evasion of Control of Materials Order. 1942 - 1942
A452 1957/2821 Public Works - Daly River Road - Northern Territory [1.25cm] 1948 - 1961
B741 V/3956 Dorothy Jean Turner 1927 - 1935