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
A11116 CA1015 PART 1 Australian policy on the Indian Ocean 16 Jan 1984 - 17 Apr 1985
D4082 WB285 Christopher Norman Abbott ( alias George Cook ) 1963 - 1963
C139 RX60483 George William GUTHRIE [Repatriation case file] [box 12519] 1962 - 1962
C139 RX22923 Robert Ewing JARVIE [Repatriation case file[ [Box 36431] 1942 - 1983
A1209 1968/9232 Prime Minister's visit overseas - June 1963 - Discussions in the United States of America 1968 - 1968
A12812 74 Inquiry into Sadadeen High School, Alice Springs - Statement of evidence, originating papers, correspondence, unnumbered submissions, briefing papers, final report, tabling details, approval of work 10 Jul 1975 - 31 Dec 1976
A2031 208/1956 208/1956 : Intelligence aspects of the strategic basis of Australian Defence Policy : Agendum Number 155/1956 : Date of meeting - 26 September 1956 1956 - 1956
PP946/1 MKM39098 HARRIS, Thomas William - Service Number - WX17249 1941 - 1985
A1928 712/5 Newspaper Cuttings. H.C.Office - London. 1946 - 1948
M4081 6/7 PART 3 International - Antarctica - Antarctic Marine Living Resources Draft Convention Mar 1979 - Apr 1980
B73 M22016 ODGERS, Clifford Allister Philip 1915 - 1995
C139 RX217971 James Leslie WEATHERS [Repatriation case file] [box 6527] 1940 - 1966
MP1540/79 D 118 The Department of Supply: Its Origins and Functions, by T Lawrence [1 booklet] 1969 - 1969
A1533 1953/350 Police cooperation - Great Britain [2 pages] 1953 - 1953
A13147 NSR 443 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Reg 54 (FL 1-71); Reg 55 (FL 77) 29 Nov 1943 - 30 Dec 1943
A1838 3034/7/8 PART 6 Indonesia - Territorial waters 1973 - 1979
A2090 48 Box of personal index cards titled between Rodda and Ryan (E) 1916 - 1950
A9180 63/1/2/4/1 PART 1 Entry into Australia - (aliens) policy and procedure - security - general security replies from Athens 27 Oct 1953 - 30 Dec 1963
C139 MX255227 Charlie WATTS [Reverand Charles] [Repatriation medical file] 1948 - 1965
K60 HKM38697 KURTZ, Harley Alfred - Service Number - 131421 1961 - 1982