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
A518 852/1/843 New Guinea Staff. F O Venning (Exempt Officer) [0.5cm] 1940 - 1947
C139 CX247050 LUCAS, Philip Cheeseman (Repatriation pension file) [Box A6673]8393] 1956 - 1990
A13397 CORLEG 12 Hearings Supplementary Material - Bell/Bond/SGIC 13 Feb 1989 - 31 Jul 1991
C139 RX222266 Charles Hartin MARCHANT [Repatriation case file] [Box 6682] 1916 - 1956
K26 MX3636 Maurice William Cahill 1944 - 1986
C4076 HN16105C Wingham post office, 1983 [photographic image]: [front view]. 1 photographic negative (3 of 4 images), colour; 35mm, on film strip 1983 - 1983
A518 AU813/1/10 ANGPCB [Australian New Guinea Production Control Board] - Stores and trade goods - Motor tyres 1946 - 1952
A10028 800/135 PART 2 China - relations with Thailand 1979 - 1980
C605 LA28 Headquarters Staff, AWLA [Australian Women's Land Army] - Mrs Anne Vaughan 1942 - 1943
A6122 499 Communist Party of Australia - Branches - Victoria Exchange Branch 1949 - 1949
A12812 34 Inquiry into commonwealth office block, Alice Springs - Statement of evidence, originating papers, correspondence, unnumbered submissions, briefing papers, final report, tabling details, approval of work 31 Aug 1972 - 26 Jul 1976
K60 MKM39850 FRY, George Edward - Service Number - 5/950, WX34889 1942 - 1987
C137 R51086 Joseph Alexander ROE [Repatriation case file] [Box A36] 1919 - 1919
A13147 NSR 452 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Regulation 21 (1). Orders made by the Commissioner of Patents. P 871-1250 16 Apr 1942 - 03 Nov 1942
A452 1971/4893 Inter-Departmental committee on internal security arrangements after self government - Papua New Guinea [3cms] 1971 - 1972
A452 1973/470 Defence committee meeting - 30 November 1972 - Defence aspects of Papua New Guinea constitutional developments [1cm] 1972 - 1973
A6122 1012 Communist Party of Australia - South Australia. Schools 1949 - 1956
PP18/1 R8957 ANDERSON, Claude Thomas - Service Number - W16541 1919 - 1957
A10028 800/151 PART 3 China : foreign policies and relations with third countries - Vietnam 31 May 1978 - 01 Aug 1978
PP872/1 MKM37283 PART 1A TAYLOR, Harold Benjamin - Service Number - WX34531 1942 - 1953