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
A3092 221/11/9 PART 2AB Indonesia 22 Feb 1967 - 28 Apr 1967
A1838 317/1 PART 11 Solomon Islands - Administration - Government 1983 - 1986
A518 852/4/176 Papua - Staff - McCarthy, J D (Postal Clerk) [4 pages] 1942 - 1945
A13147 NSR 371 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Prices) Regulations. Declaration Nos 1-92, 108A-134, 140-144, 146, 149-153, 155-158 04 Oct 1939 - 13 Aug 1945
A1838 155/21/1 PART 20 Africa - General - Indian Ocean - Political 1984 - 1984
A1838 1734/83 PART 3 Law of the sea - Territorial limits - Indonesia 1979 - 1980
D363 HB24191 CORNFORD, Margery Kathleen beneficiary of CORNFORD, John Martin Ward - Service Number - 1314 1990 - 1994
A1838 173/11/52 PART 1 Iraq - Relations with the USSR 1954 - 1966
B26 MX151284 PART 1 ALLISON, James Albert 1943 - 1992
B73 R48209 ROBINSON, John Ware - Service Number - 838 1915 - 1920
A10028 800/151/1 PART 9 China : relations with Vietnam - political and general 12 Jan 1979 - 19 Apr 1979
MP16/1 1918/298 Erskine Joseph ex "Flying Clond" 01 Jan 1800 - 01 Jan 1800
A6980 S250972 Special Interdepartmental Committee on Domestic Violence - Part 5 1977 - 1978
A11504 C/BA436/MED/1 BA436 RYAN, Kenneth - (Med) - Civilian 1991 - 1992
A12909 3992 Submission No 3992 : [title exempt] - Related to Decision No 11703(IS) 22 May 1980 - 22 May 1980
A432 1990/8175 Soviet interference in Australian Politics - recommendations re expulsion - denial of visas 1990 - 1990
A6122 494 Epworth Hospital Branch. Communist Party of Australia 1949 - 1949
B73 M70504 OGLE, Joseph Benjamin - Service Number - 9130 1915 - 1959
A101 WHOLE SERIES Department Home Affairs Correspondence files 'B' series (NSW Vic Tas) 1904 - 1909
D2952 PL80/1980 Relay of mainline in the Thevenard Yard account severely corroded rail [Drawing of Thevenard Yard track layout - Scale 1:480] 1980 - 1980