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
AWM279 3/7 PART 2 Australian Task Force - Standing Operating Procedures for Operations in Vietnam 1971 - 1971
A1838 3100/2/3 PART 2 SRD - Special Regional Developments - Insurgency - Malaysia 1973 - 1974
A703 564/13/76 PART 1 Maritime surveillance of Indian Ocean - Policy. 1969 - 1971
F941 1970/203 "Tiwi Talkabout" (Snake Bay) [ Community Newspaper ] 1970 - 1971
B26 HX190986 PART 1 DEANS, Noel Edward 1942 - 1971
B73 M115019 Wilson, George 1953 - 1970
A9737 1990/3740 USSR - Foreign Policy - Antarctic Claim 01 Jul 1986 - 12 Nov 1991
A1838 3034/2/5/1 PART 6 Indonesia - Political - Chinese minority 1980 - 1981
A12983 11 Inquiry into Meat Industry - Transcripts - Canberra x 3 30 Oct 1973 - 05 Apr 1974
PP926/1 MX63226 William Heitland Godby 1941 - 1974
M1268 94 [Personal Papers of Prime Minister Fraser] Expenditure 1977 [includes papers relating to Commonwealth programs in education, environment, housing etc] 02 Nov 1977 - 13 Dec 1977
A13014 F.6.1 Follow up on Committee Reports - Footprints in the Sand 01 May 1986 - 28 May 1987
A88 8 Glass plate negative photograph of Lord Howe Island - Silhouette of islands in sea 1914 - 1915
A425 C1989/7341 Australia - USA Exchange Of Notes In Relation To Space Vehicle Tracking And Communication Facilities 1989 - 1989
A659 1939/1/8819 Lathom, Mrs M - Passport 1926 - 1939
A2487 1922/7766 [Assistance to Constance Henderson] 1922 - 1922
J2937 G56/17 PART 3 Moorooka - Group 25 - RQ - Development - Defence Service Homes Corporation 1970 - 1976
D4082 AO26 John Neale 1967 - 1971
A8746 KN29/11/72/23 Aboriginal people and torres strait islander peoples - Tribal - Timothy Wagbara at the entrance to Oenberna burial ground 1972 - 1972
K60 MSR39104 VOLUME 2 HALSE, Ronald Munro - Service Number - 53360, QX3034 1978 - 1988