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
A13147 NSR 409 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Reg 53 (DK.1-74) 09 Feb 1943 - 26 Feb 1943
PP872/1 MKM29952 LAUGHLAN, Matthew - Service Number - 15996 1948 - 1957
A13141 FOC7 (6) Senate Select Committee on Foreign Ownership and Control of Australian Resources - Correspondence - Commonwealth Departments Mar 1972 - Jan 1974
A1838 233/9/1 PART 4 Cuba - Relations with Australia 1976 - 1978
AWM304 276 [1 Psychological Operations Unit (1 Psy Ops) - unregistered item] - Example leaflet 042 - Victory 1970 - 1970
A1533 1967/2388 MILLER, Bert Spencer 1967 - 1972
A4243 57 Tioscipe Australia Pty. Ltd. 1974 - 1976
A1838 816/2/3 PART 10 USSR [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics] - Reports on economic development - Food and agriculture 1974 - 1976
K60 HKM34936 VOLUME 2 GLASKIN, Gilbert Henry - Service Number - W47892, WX42370, 5/9025 1982 - 1986
B73 R13852 STANTON, Frederick William 1917 - 1929
MP729/8 4/431/33 Cartidges ML 3-in Mortar 1947 - 1947
A1838 714/3/5 PART 6 Review of Strategic Export Control Policy Towards Indonesia 1969 - 1972
PP946/1 MKM39655 WHITLEY, Patrick Alphonsus - Service Number - 52601 1953 - 1991
B26 HX138755 LUCAS, Rex Lloyd 13 Dec 1980 - 18 Mar 1993
A1838 626/11/27 PART 4 Post liaison and guidance - Post files Hong Kong 1981 - 1984
A6135 K7/3/84/301 Aboriginal people and torres strait islander peoples - Dance - Corroboree at Ayers Rock 1984 - 1984
A6717 A111 Appointment of an additional assistant Trade Commissioner in Tokyo 1964 - 1964
A13141 FOC19 Senate Select Committee on Foreign Ownership and Control of Australian Resources - Draft Report - Inquiry into AIDC and NIF Bills April 1974 10 Dec 1971 - 04 Mar 1975
A13883 202/2/3 Singapore constitution - talks - London - May 1958 27 Mar 1958 - 02 Jul 1959
AWM54 179/5/8 PART 20 [Chemical Warfare - Trials:] Munitions Supply Laboratories. Abstract reports indexed in records of Chemical Defence Board [Part 20 of 23] 1945 - 1945