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
D455 NN Anstey Robert J 1978 - 1978
B26 MX51680 PART 1 TATT, Leslie Theodore 1946 - 1994
J32 HX1931 Benson Leonard Arthur - Repatriation file [Box 4966] 1943 - 1943
A1838 720/5/22 PART 7 Atomic energy - Australia - Relations with China 1984 - 1984
A8307 REGISTER 89 Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1948 - Register of Births, London - No 89 1973 - 1975
B26 CX71371 DALY, Patrick John 1984 - 1990
A1838 494/30/3/2 China - United Kingdom other Incidents 1950 - 1954
A703 564/3/164 PART 2 Air staff aerodrome requirements - Townsville, Queensland 1969 - 1974
A13147 NSR 172 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Reg 53 (EC.3-6); Reg 54 (EC.7-86); Reg 55 (EC.87-100) 16 Mar 1943 - 17 May 1943
MP16/1 1917/662 White, Charlotte, Mrs 1917 - 1917
A1838 3014/11/51 PART 3 Vietnam - Relations with United Kingdom 1966 - 1968
A3963 S1/4/1 B.P. Australia Ltd. 1969 - 1975
AWM237 37 Nominal Roll of Deaths in the Australian Military Forces, 3rd Sep 1939 to 31 Dec 1947, New South Wales [LABATT-ZINN] 1939 - 1947
A432 1931/513 Territory for Seat of Govt. Whether a workman injured in Relief works is entitled to Compensation under C'wealth Employees Compensation Act 1930. 1931 - 1931
C138 HB41555 PART 5 GARDINER, Florence Grace beneficiary of GARDINER, Walter Markham - Service Number - 6990 1988 - 1994
A2487 1921/18371 [Cook, C J - Overpayments to] 1921 - 1922
K26 MBX11623 Stephen Francis Coffey 1945 - 1989
A1838 73/1/6 PART 13 Yugoslavia - Non Aligned Nations Conference 1973 - 1973
AWM54 179/1/20 PART 18 [Chemical Warfare - General:] Australian Military Forces: Technical Notes and Staff Notes - Chemical Warfare [Part 18 of 19] 1945 - 1945
E72 D3488/4 [Portion of Title Expunged] Roy and Clytie Rannard - Ronald Norman Rannard - Douglas Mitchell Rannard 1955 - 1956