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
A1533 1956/2234 ERIKSEN, William Christian [0.5cm] 1956 - 1956
A705 55/1/791 Recommendations from NW Area for Immediate and Periodical operational awards quarter ending 30/6/45 1945 - 1945
CP548/1 240 Bread. Rockhampton 1946 - 1946
AP214/15 VOLUME 2 Members of crews signed off or deserted at Port Adelaide (includes deserters at outports) 7 January 1944 to 12 November 1955 1944 - 1955
A1928 290/8 SECTION 2 Drugs and Medicines Morphia and other narcotic drugs - supplies to local medical practitioners Sect. 2. 1928 - 1942
A7452 A103 PART 1 Prohibition of certain Sigint activities - "Nationality Rules" 1980 - 1984
A432 1984/16214 Commonwealth versus Fairfax and Toohey - 1983 High Court Proceedings - Affidavits 1984 - 1985
M3357 RJC85/109 Industry Review - notes of meetings 1986 1986 - 1986
F1 1958/480 State Childrens' Council Shaw Family 1958 - 1959
A11235 64/1 Senate Journals - 64th Session of Parliament - Volume 1 containing Journal No. 1 (8 May 1990) to Journal No. 59 (21 December 1990) 1990 - 1990
PP913/1 RX646 VOLUME 1 Frederick Willison 1941 - 1957
D3185 156 Torrens Island Quarantine Station photograph 156 - [rash on arms and hands] 1924 - 1945
K60 MKM34936 GLASKIN, Gilbert Henry - Service Number - W47892, WX42370, 5/9025 1951 - 1986
AWM239 171 RAN Medical Officers' Journal: PENGUIN (1 July - 31 December 1941) 1941 - 1941
A816 66/301/48A Recommendations for Award of British Empire medal AMF New Year Honours 1944 1945 1943 - 1944
A13147 NSR 89 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Building Operations) Regulations. Building Operations 01 Jun 1944 - 06 Dec 1944
AWM239 51 RAN Medical Officers' Journal: CERBERUS (1 January 1939 - 31 December 1940) 1939 - 1940
E72 D9938/6 [Portion of Title Expunged] Joanne May - Mr and Mrs Yates 1961 - 1961
B741 V/11262 Wm [William] R. Wright. 1933 - 1933
A10311 VOLUME 5 Registers of citizenship by descent - birth registers (Paris) 1974 - 1990