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
A1928 716/54 Staff -Exempt Northern Territory Pilot for Darwin Aerial Ambulance J. Slade. 1946 - 1946
C31 NS68/274/B/1 TITLE: Coffs Harbour CMF depot, marking plan and steelwork details CATEGORY: microform FORMAT: 35mm aperture card STATUS: preservation master 1959 - 1989
M3357 RJC/92/3 Cocom 1985 - 1986
M3357 RJC/92/2 PT 1 US - visit follow up 1985 - 1986
A1838 69/2/5/7 PART 18 Union of Soviet Socialist Republics - Political nationalities - Jewish 1985 - 1986
A1838 3103/2/1/1 PART 19 Japan - Political General Political Situation Reports 1974 - 1975
K60 HKM39376 WISHART, Norman Leslie - Service Number - 5/2145, WX1700 1988 - 1989
F1 1955/658 State Childrens Council McManus Family 1955 - 1956
B73 H90469 BRAND, Lovel Arthur [0.25 cm] 1960 - 1960
C139 MBX13772 Irene Virginia Agnes LEWIS [dependant of Edward LEWIS] [Repatriation dependants medical file] [Box 60759] 1960 - 1993
A1838 915/7 PART 3 United Nations - Political Questions - Vietnam - including Item on Violation of Human Rights in South Vietnam 1966 - 1966
A7324 60 Submissions - Television Equalisation - Victorian Trades Hall Council Jan 1987 - Jan 1987
B73 M49098 LEWIS, Howell Edward [1.50cm] 1914 - 1953
A6122 269 CPA [Communist Party of Australia] activity and interest in Sydney University - NSW. Volume 1 [93 pages. 60 of these contain exemptions] 1952 - 1964
A1838 3107/40/147 PART 8 China - Relations with foreign countries - India 1959 - 1960
A11235 8 Senate Journals - 8th Session of Parliament - Volume containing Journal No. 1 (16 September 1908) to Journal No. 32 (11 December 1908) and Printed Papers having Special Reference to the Senate 1908 - 1908
C139 RX23888 William COLLYER [Repatriation case file] 1919 - 1921
B73 H5760 MILNE, Hector - Service Number - 953 1954 - 1954
E1155 76/3/7045 Lake Nash Alyawarra Aboriginal Community - AATA Housing Association 1976 - 1986
AWM315 206/002/017 02 [Australian War Memorial registry files - second series:] Artists: VFX94085, Capt Heysen, Nora Miss 1987 - 1987