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
C139 CX106517 CHAMBERLAIN, Leonard Herbet [Repatriation pension file] [1.5cm; box A6528] 1952 - 1988
A816 48/302/13 Wireless transmitting equipment held by Mr W.B. Bestman (or Bessman), Gympie, Qld. 1941 - 1941
MP114/1 MANGAN J MANGAN, Joseph. 14 1929 - 1929
A816 37/301/131 Dept. of Defence. Electric Cable Inquiry, Letters etc. 1941 - 1942
A7822 GO.18 PART 2 Torque 1974 - 1975
D3185 151 Torrens Island Quarantine Station photograph 151 - [portion of title exempt] rash about April 9 photo April 13 1926 1926 - 1926
AWM255 18 PART 6 [Pathology and bacteriology] - Card index to collection of surgical and pathological specimens illustrating the effects of modern warfare collected by Australian War Records Section - Index to specimens alphabetical by surname a-y [duplicates] 1918 - 1920
A1838 3008/11/147 Burma - Relations with India 1959 - 1971
A13147 NSR 585 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Reg 54 (DQ.1-56); Reg 55 (DQ.57-58) 22 Feb 1943 - 12 Mar 1943
D1915 SA12267 SCUTELLA Giovanni - application for naturalisation 1943 - 1951
A431 1971/469 The Environment of the 80's 1964 - 1988
MT1214/1 349/116/663 Robert A. Sanderson O.N. 19905 1939 - 1939
A1838 TS175/11/20/8 PART 1 Middle East Intelligence and military situation reports 1956 - 1957
A3963 S1/2/4 Amoco Australia Pty. Ltd. 18.6.76 - 1976 - 1976
AWM239 MS6 RAN Medical Officers' Journals: Australian Mine Sweepers - COLAC (6 January 1942 - 30 September 1945); COOTAMUNDRA (30 April 1943 - 24 November 1945); COWRA (8 October 1943 - 31 December 1946) 1942 - 1946
A1838 3107/40/147 PART 13 China - Relations with India 1962 - 1962
D399 S1986/50095 Surplus welfare officers 1986 - 1988
A452 1973/2855 French Nuclear tests in the Pacific area [0.5cm] 1972 - 1973
K60 HKM32775 CRAIG, Robert Harvey - Service Number - 5/1770 1953 - 1984
C139 MX52369 Robert Irving WEBB [Repatriation medical case file] [Box 26733] 1940 - 1978