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
A659 1941/1/3821 Return of Imperial Cerificates granted to persons naturalised in Australia and revocations 1938 - 1943
A518 852/1/756 New Guinea - Brown, A L M [0.25cm] 1938 - 1941
C4076 HN5572C Timbriebungie Post Office closed c.1930 [box 612] 1983 - 1983
A1838 3006/10/4/1 PART 36 Malaysia - Singapore - British Australian Policies in Malaysia Region - Post August 1965 1973 - 1973
A1838 67/2/2/1 PART 1 UK - Political Developments - Colonial Policy Northern Ireland 1969 - 1971
A1838 3107/38/12/20 PART 3 China - Relations with Australia - Visits to China - Foreign Minister Mr A PEACOCK 1979 - 1979
K60 MKM33800 BARR, Kenneth William - Service Number - 5/400186 1949 - 2013
AWM239 213 RAN Medical Officers' Journals: Reserve Districts (1 January - 31 December 1940) 1940 - 1940
K60 HKM39637 VOLUME 2 DAVIS, Reginald Henry Saville - Service Number - 329 1977 - 1988
A6364 WH1963/06 Washington cables inwards chronological, numbers 1551 to 1899, 14 June to 19 July 1963 1963 - 1963
A432 1931/1785 Income Tax: J.A.P. Martin Deed of arrangement under Part Xii of Bankruptcy Act 1924-30. Meaning of "Assessed... Income Tax assessed... Prior to the date of the order of Sequestration" in Sec 84 (1) (h) Bankruptcy Act. 1931 - 1931
MP16/1 1917/1025 leahy John Walter 1917 - 1917
C138 H70791 PART 3 NICHOLS, Frederick Hubert Nicholson - Service Number - 4341 1990 - 1992
A12812 13 Inquiry into Casurina Hospital, Darwin - Statement of evidence, originating papers, correspondence, unnumbered submissions, briefing papers, final report, tabling details, approval of work 13 Apr 1972 - 22 Nov 1973
E1509 1985/372 PART 3 Defence - Tindal RAAF - Aboriginal interest [no records on file] 1983 - 1994
P130 R11784 Burgess, Elton Regt No. 6536 Private 12th Battalion Repatriation file 1919 - 1919
D4082 WB495 Vojin Jova Bojkovic 1964 - 1965
A3959 A1/6 Matters relating to Mail and Telephones (Official and Public) 1973 - 1976
MP1155/1 V1962/32514 Paas, Frank 1961 - 1962
A1838 720/4/9 PART 28 Australian atomic energy - Non proliferation aspects of uranium enrichment 1979 - 1980