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
A10028 225/2 PART 5 China's relations and attitudes to other countries - world powers - USA 1975 - 1976
D363 HB23345 PART 3 PALMER, Vera Margaret beneficiary of PALMER, Roy Harold - Service Number - 51838 1989 - 1995
K60 HKM38106 VOLUME 5 WIGLEY, Thomas Arthur - Service Number - A51056 1986 - 1988
NTAC1980/442 9 1977 Rating Plans for Northern Suburbs and Book on Darwin Lots - 74 and 77 UCV'S 1977 - 1977
A2090 12 Box of personal index cards titled between Crumley and Davin 1916 - 1950
A4080 NN Australian Post Office Commission of Inquiry Secretariat Sweden, Vol 2 1973 - 1973
A1838 100/6/1/8 Visit of representative of foreign service [imposed title, original title wholly exempt] 1956 - 1956
A1838 1586/19 PART 3 [Legal representation in New Hebrides to contest land at Port Sandwich in which Commonwealth has beneficial ownership] - No front cover 1951 - 1961
PP946/1 MKM33671 VOLUME 1 O'NEILL, Patrick - Service Number - WX500969, 5/400019 1946 - 1963
A2487 1921/10585 [Representations from Harry Cox] 1921 - 1921
A432 1930/1473 Unemployment Relief Act, Queensland. Whether exempt employees of Commonwealth are liable to tax. 1930 - 1930
A6980 S203644 SALEMI Ingazio - Part 3 1976 - 1977
A1838 48/1/3/12 PART 2 Poland - Foreign policy - Relations with Australia - Contingency measures 1981 - 1981
A3092 221/11/11/2 PART 3B Malaysia 01 Feb 1964 - 07 Feb 1964
C4076 HN16026 PART B Collector Post Office 1984 - 1984
B741 V/1158 [J.L. Grande. Money owed for Repatriation of Wife and Family] 1925 - 1928
A1838 189/11/107 PART 1 Pakistan - Relations with Burma 1949 - 1978
M1256 1977A PART 3 [Personal Papers of Prime Minister Fraser] Correspondence '1977A' [relating to Australian Union of Students, manufacturing industry etc, includes 'Proposal for the Founding of a Commonwealth and Western European Economic Plan' by Robert K Andrew (UK, September 1974)] 14 Jun 1977 - 24 Aug 1977
A1209 1958/5793 Sino - Indian relations 1958 - 1958
A1838 160/11/161 PART 1 Ceylon - Relations with United States of America 1948 - 1963