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
E72 D8933/6 [Portion of Title Expunged] - Federn, Judith - Mr and Mrs Correll 1960 - 1960
A1838 1490/17/5 PART 1 Legal aspects of Papua New Guinea independence - Defence 1972 - 1974
A432 1932/326 Reduction of Rents Act 1931 W.A. Premises held under lease by C'Wealth Leases entered into after Commencement of Act. Rent reducted by agreement. Reduction less than that provided by Act. How leases should be dealt with 1932 - 1932
A9954 SE/10/D2 Agenda item 2b. The Communist insurgent threat to the Treaty area. Collated paper presented by the United Kingdom 1959 - 1959
C4076 HN16026 PART A Collector Post Office 1984 - 1984
M880 758 Foreign Affairs - China 1988 - 1988
A12383 E/5/1/1 Wilton Report - Joint Intelligence Organisation - Organisational Structure and Establishment 1968 - 1975
A432 1931/1216 Customs Tariff Proposal dated 3.4.30 Customs Tariff Items 250 (c) & 367 1931 - 1931
A1838 3004/10/6 PART 4 South East Asia - Indo Chinese refugees - United States policy 1981 - 1983
A1838 3032/2/9 PART 8 Sarawak - Internal Security 1971 - 1972
M4520 81 [Correspondence with Marshall Wilson and Stephen Foley from 'The Age'] 23 Jan 1985 - 27 May 1986
D1717 40/35 Commonwealth Railway, ACT railway, Queanbeyan to Canberra, horizontal scale 1inch=4chain, vertical scale 1inch=4feet - showing plan and longitudinal section with railway running parallel with Molonglo River, suburb Fyshwick, Canberra railway station 1969 - 1969
AWM54 244/2/19 [Demolitions - Schemes:] Demolition Schedule Queensland: Road Block Mines, 2 Corps Engineer Officers 1939 - 1945
PP872/1 MKM34538 COTTON, Phillip Rodney - Service Number - A22507 1954 - 1962
B337 490 Marks, Paul 1960 - 1961
A6980 S250916 Special Interdepartmental Committee on Counter Terrorism Working Group on Travel Intelligence 1975 - 1982
A2539 B1989/153 Brief for the Timor Gap Zone of Cooperation Heads of Delegations Negotiations in Jakarta - 15 October 1989 1989 - 1989
F627 AL389 Agricultural Lease 389 - Block 151 Katherine River Ag Area 1931 - 1945
A1209 1962/703 Geneva conference on Vietnam, 1962 1962 - 1962
A1928 1110/15 Para Typhoid Fevers Salmonella 1947 - 1947