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
B741 V/22277 Gottfried Ernst Burgner 1939 - 1945
B741 V/1200 [G.M. Hamilton - Enquiry from Repatriation Dept] 1925 - 1925
MP171/5 16 Ships' registers - arrivals and departures, Melbourne 04 Apr 1940 - 15 May 1943
A2487 1922/424 [Irregular payment of living allowance to wife of J H Jones] 1920 - 1922
A2487 1921/16163 [Medical treatment for E F McKenna] 1921 - 1921
D4082 AO430 Ambrose Tomlins 1973 - 1973
PP866/1 H12159 SMITH, Edward Arthur - Service Number - 2805 1962 - 1963
A13147 NSR 320 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Man Power) Regulations. Order under Regulation 15AA 14 Jun 1944 - 27 Jun 1944
A12836 5 Tasmanian Disabilities Inquiry - Minutes of evidence 1930 - 1930
A13147 NSR 182 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Supplementary) Regulations. Schedule of State Orders Regulation 24 13 Feb 1942 - 18 Nov 1946
A518 AE801/1/7 National Security (External Territories) Regulations - Births, Deaths and Marriages - Entries under Regulation 21A - Wong King 1945 - 1945
A1838 3081/2/9/3 PART 1 Papua New Guinea - Internal security - Terrorism 1977 - 1977
A1838 3034/11/176 PART 1 Indonesia - Relations with other countries - South Pacific 1978 - 1983
A6122 704 C P of A Qld [Communist Party of Australia Queensland] Shipyards Branch 1949 - 1949
A1838 3127/2/4 PART 4 Korea - Political - South Korea - General - Elections 1959 - 1960
K60 HKM40097 DIGGINS, Colin - Service Number - F4732, 33101, A216209 1955 - 1988
A1838 766/1 PART 13 Communist China - Economic Relations with Australia 1972 - 1972
A2908 S81/5 PART 5 Shipping UMCC - United Nations Maritime Consultative Committee 1947 - 1948
A292 C26062 PART 5A University House - Contract with Howie Moffatt and Company 1952 - 1952
PP889/1 MKM34532 PRIDDLE, Raymond Douglas - Service Number - 5/2216 1952 - 1973