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
A7363 10 Draft report - chairman's Oct 1982 - Oct 1982
A1838 861/7/9 International Refugee Organisation - Executive Committee - Ninth Session 1951 - 1951
C139 MX317678 Stanley Joseph Eden [Repatriation file] (Box 40558) 1941 - 1984
A7452 A155 PART 2 Intelligence activities [Portion of title exempt] 1981 - 1982
A5803 1 Inquiry into Policies & Programs for Advancement of Aboriginal & Island People - Transcript - private briefing 07 Jun 1973 - 07 Jun 1973
A1928 1016/3 Staff Institute of Anatomy E. Macleay 1925 - 1943
A518 624/1/87 Norfolk Island Staff - Fitzpatrick, P L 1951 - 1952
A12974 G 7.9 PART 2 General Administration Files - 38th Parliament - Foreign Currency Loans 14 May 1979 - 02 May 1997
A13147 NSR 394 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Industrial Lighting) Regulations. Order Under Regulation 5 18 Jan 1943 - 18 Jan 1943
SP1122/1 N64/45874 Pitsios, Rigas [Greek migrant; immigration file] [Box 9234] 1978 - 1978
A1838 720/5/1/1/1 PART 7 United Kingdom - Safeguards agreement with Australia - Negotiating history 1979 - 1979
D1915 SA5469 VOM BERG Moritz and Johanne - enquiry re passports 1938 - 1954
A6980 S200569 CILLI Domenico 1940 - 1967
E72 DL211 The Attorney Generals Department - Crown Solicitors Office Alice Springs - The King v. Briston 1928 - 1928
A816 19/310/167 Soviet and satellite war potential 1953-1956 1953 - 1953
A1838 TS100/2/2 [Title exempt] 1954 - 1983
AWM54 179/5/13 [Chemical Warfare - Trials:] Chemical Defence Research Department. Report on the Chemistry and Toxicology of certain compounds, 1940 1940 - 1940
A432 1932/502 Sales Tax. Roberts Mance - facturing Co. Ltd. Contract entered into prior to 16.7.30 1932 - 1932
A446 1970/87195 VALTER Antonio born 21 August 1928 1962 - 1977
A10756 LC1927 [title exempt] [Submission No. 2246 refers] 10 May 1978 - 30 Aug 1978