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
A7695 8 Various Inquiries: 1982-1986 - Inquiry into provision of 106 houses - HMAS Stirling, WA - Correspondence, Terms of reference, Submissions, Briefing papers, Unnumbered Supplementary submissions 17 Jun 1977 - 01 Jul 1983
C4076 HN6123 Kearsley Post Office and garage 1986 - 1986
A10122 D/37 Cabinet Papers - implementation of 200 mile fishing zone off the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT 1979 - 1979
A518 852/1/916 Amoore, Reginald Henry - New Guinea Staff [3 pages] 1943 - 1943
B741 V/22289 Granz Wilhelm Degen 1939 - 1946
A7452 A268 Alleged breach of security [Portion of title exempt] 1982 - 1985
A1838 3107/38/14 PART 20 China - Relations with Australia - Briefing material 1980 - 1981
K26 MX34335 George Thomas Poland 1945 - 1963
F504 16 Census 1933 - District O (Rankine River) 1933 - 1933
A1928 1020/152 Staff-permanent. Victoria-serum labs. Ross, A.R. 1929 - 1943
PP866/1 M11048 CUNNINGHAM, Edward Joseph - Service Number - 2461 1916 - 1964
PP911/1 RX57006 WARD Henry Hutchinson 3086 & W27694 1914 - 1968
A3959 A3/13 A.D. Little (London) Despatch of Documents 1974 - 1976
D4082 WB631 Vinko Vujevic 1965 - 1966
A3968 EXHIBIT 265 Mobil - Purchase Land & Develop Boronia West, Vic. Cnr Boronia & SCORESBY Rds. 1971 - 1972
D3185 145 Torrens Island Quarantine Station photograph 145 - medical student assisting in Pauls test - [portion of title exempt] early pustules and vesicular rash 24 April 1926 (Pauls test performed) 1926 - 1926
A452 1971/1990 Review of functions, placement and organisation of the Police Special Branch - Papua New Guinea [4cms] 1971 - 1971
A4243 14 Wander (Australia) Pty Ltd 1974 - 1976
A1838 169/11/161 PART 13 India - Relations with United States of America 1972 - 01 Jan 1800
A1838 3034/4/5/5 Indonesia - Rice 1951 - 1965