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
A7936 B/19/1 PART 2 Codewords and nicknames 1952 - 1977
A1838 3016/11/116 PART 26 Cambodia - Relations with Thailand 1987 - 1989
A6122 766 Communist Party of Australia - NSW Star Branch 1949 - 1949
A13147 NSR 218 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Control of Canned Fruits Order. Regulation 59 16 Mar 1943 - 16 Mar 1943
A1838 3107/38/1/3 PART 2 Australia - China relations - Annual review 1976 - 1978
B26 HX169392 CASSIDY, Mark Lacel 1961 - 1966
E72 DL2000 Joseph and Lily Sevallos [Portion of Title Expunged] Stacia Ann Western Appointment of Guardian ad Litem 1952 - 1952
A432 1930/1525 Question of Departmental liability in connection with use of official motor cars on private business 1930 - 1931
A432 1930/1303 Territory for Seat of Government - Real Property Ordinance 1925/27. Can Registrar of Titles register the transfer of a lease which contains a covenant not to assign without consent, where consent is not given ? 1930 - 1930
B6518 40 Address book - Timorese - Midway migrant hostel, Maribyrnong 1975 - 1977
A432 1931/2077 Sales Tax: Shell Co. of Australia Ltd. 1931 - 1931
A518 AW836/2 New Guinea - Miscellaneous - Rabaul Printing Works [5 pages] 1942 - 1948
PP878/1 MKM34111 BROWN, Alfred - Service Number - WX6332 1944 - 1999
A431 1990/9679 Administrative Law and Justice Branch Police Affairs Section Australian Police Ministers Council 18th Meeting - Darwin March 1990 Part 1 1990 - 1990
D4082 WB485 Horace Scrivens - ex Darwin and Pine Creek Northern Territory 1963 - 1966
A10872 100/1/5 Australian Service - Organisation questions [Australian Secret Intelligence Service, ASIS] 1957 - 1958
A1838 3126/1/1 PART 3 Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea - Republic of Korea - Relations - Dialogue - General - Political dialogue - North south co-ordinating committee 1981 - 1982
A9613 NUMBER 44 Registers of citizenship by descent - Register of births 1953 - 1983
MP1157/1 V1964/47194 TUOVINEN, Klaudia 1960 - 1979
A13147 NSR 344 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - Statutory Rules 1944, No's 2-5, 7-9, 13-21, 24-26, 28-33, 35, 36, 40, 41, 43-45, 47-49, 51, 52, 54-56, 58, 59, 61, 62, 66-68, 70, 73, 74, 76-81, 83-88, 92-94, 99, 100, 103-108, 112, 113, 118, 125-127, 129-131, 135-137, 148, 150-152, 156, 157, 159-162, 165, 173 12 Jan 1944 - 29 Nov 1944