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
A7919 C100380 Pertosa, Constantino (Army) PWI 57970 - Born: 8 February 1919, San Nicandro Garganico Italy - Captured: 3 January 1941, Bardia Libya - Previously interned: 16 Febuary January 1941, India - Arrived Australia: HARDY, 16 January 1944, Melbourne Victoria - Interned: Kerang Victoria - Departed: OTRANTO, 10 January 1947, for Naples Italy 1941 - 1947
A3963 S4/25 Botany Municiple Council 1974 - 1975
B73 H119116 PART 1 FIELD Raymond [1.00 cms] 1965 - 1978
A9737 1990/1761 Outer Space ONA (Office of National Assessments) Assessments on Anti Satellites (ASATS) and Arms Control 29 May 1985 - 28 Aug 1989
A1928 1020/13 SECTION 1 Staff Permanent Central. R.A. Reid Section I 1920 - 1936
A10031 821/1 PART 3 Bi-lateral Relations - Australia - Iraq Political and general Relations 1989 - 1990
AWM54 179/5/17 PART 1 [Chemical Warfare - Trials:] Far Eastern Technical Unit, Research Section, Pacific Warfare Board - Report No 1, May 1945 1945 - 1945
A1838 3127/11/113 PART 2 Korea - Relations with South Vietnam 1966 - 1970
PP18/1 RKM32888 GORDON, Ronald Clyde - Service Number - 5/400161 1952 - 1955
A6365 JA1975/10-02 Jakarta - 29 - inward cables - 1200 to 1599 1975 - 1975
A13397 CORLEG 3 Correspondence - State Government 22 Nov 1988 - 10 Apr 1989
PP911/1 MX26544 William Lawrence Jeffery 1941 - 1987
E242 K14/2/52 PART 2 Maintenance Claims - Roper Valley Station 1962 - 1974
A1533 2011/17291 ROWLAND, Keren Ellen - Missing person 1971 - 1973
CP548/1 D250 Imported Soda Ash ICJANZ. 1946 - 1946
A1838 563/10/10/10 PART 1 SEATO - trends and highlights in Communist propaganda 1956 - 1957
PP930/1 HX54237 Hurbert William O'Neil 1950 - 1992
PP870/1 MSR37894 PIESSE Desmond John - Service Number A53900 1961 - 1961
A446 1967/66238 CHAN Tong Wai (aka David Chan) born 10 September 1933; Skookyu born 14 October 1963 - Chinese 1961 - 1968
PP18/1 R11701 DANAHER, Percy James - Service Number - 2320 1918 - 1955