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 720/4/9 PART 37 Australian atomic energy - Non proliferation aspects of uranium enrichment 1980 - 1980
AWM93 2/5/19C/2 PART 8 [Australian War Memorial registry file:] Buildings and Accommodation - AWM Canberra. Roll of Honour - Lists of names to be inscribed, forwarded by Repatriation Department Sydney 1956 - 1958
D455 NN Abate Mr Affiths Mrs RLd 1949 - 1959
C3939 N1957/75246 PART VI Immigration - nationality character checks of former NSW residents applying for naturalisation in other states [2.0cm; box 90] 1967 - 1969
F1 1970/2146 correspondence with Child Welfare WA 1960 - 1974
A10267 21 Submissions Nos. 11 - 16, including draft report - Bougainville 07 Aug 1976 - 25 Jun 1995
A1838 3006/3/3 PART 35 Cambodia relations with Thailand 1982 - 1983
B1500 50/35/97 PART 1 Mandatory modifications and inspections - Helio H250 [part Box 38] 1971 - 1981
A7073 J307/64 PART 2 ATTACHMENT Use of Territories for tax avoidance 1967 - 1968
A9737 1992/51655 PART 1 Indonesia - East Timor - Submissions to Ministers Briefs and Other Papers 06 Nov 1978 - 03 May 1989
C139 HX66692 William Henry GRANGER [Repatriation file] [box 42027] 1946 - 1984
M4520 24 H R Nicholls Society 1985 - 1988
A1838 752/2/3/1 PART 1 Indonesia - Food and Agriculture - Rice 1955 - 1971
K26 MX4580 EARNSHAW George - DVA File [WWII Service No.WX4341] 1940 - 1984
B26 MX59175 PART 1 NEWMAN Thomas James 1941 - 1946
B4794 BRENCICH, LUCIA [Claim for Special Benefit - Lucia Brencich] 1967 - 1968
M4835 52 (5) Miscellaneous [including documents relating to border surveillance by Papua New Guinea armed forces] 1971 - 1971
C321 N78/313021 Italiano, Concetta [Italian migrant; naturalization file] [Box 440] 1978 - 1979
K60 C34927 MACDONALD Ross 1919 - 1921
A12987 S34 Senate Select Committee on Medical and Hospital Costs - Submissions No 1 of 3 Bundles, Part A - The Asthma Foundation of Victoria (Submission No 4) Jan 1968 - Jul 1968