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
A13147 NSR 471 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Reg 53 (BX.1-2); Reg 54 (BX.3-85); Reg 55 (BX.86-90) 07 Sep 1942 - 26 Sep 1942
E72 DL2348 Byrne, Leo John [Portion of Title Expunged] Barbara 1953 - 1953
A3962 T2/1 Forecasts of Petroleum Products Consumption 1972 - 1974
A1838 3127/1/1 PART 6 Korea - Internal general - Republic of Korea economy 1976 - 1978
A705 55/1/702 Recommendations from Northern Command for immediate and periodical operational awards quarter ending 30/9/44 1944 - 1944
K26 MX72595 John Luke HANNAGAN 1940 - 1989
A1838 3027/10/1 PART 14 Malaysia - Political Relations with Australia 1971 - 1972
A3411 48 South-East Asia Treaty Organisation. Second Meeting of the Council of Ministers held at Karachi (from 6-8 March 1956) 1956 - 1956
A1533 1954/1143 BRION, Mario [4 pages] 1954 - 1954
A1200 L64307 Aboriginal people and torres strait islander peoples - Tribal - Aboriginal made up for corroboree CATEGORY: Photograph PRINCIPAL CREDIT: Australian News and Information Bureau FORMAT: b&w negative TYPE: cellulose acetate STATUS: preservation material 1967 - 1967
D2952 PL49/1979 Port Lincoln - A.F.U.L.E. complaint regarding non-metallic Brake Blocks 1979 - 1979
PP18/1 RKM32055 LEE, James Richard - Service Number - WP37162, 5/602 1951 - 1951
A13147 NSR 270 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Timber Control) Regulations. Control of Timber Order No 1-14 23 Mar 1942 - 20 Aug 1945
D618 CA977 PART 6 Adelaide airport SA - terminal building extensions by contract 1970 - 1970
D4082 SA12-2/PS PART 3 Maintenance of patients in Hillcrest Hospital 1970 - 1973
A12384 K/15 [title exempt] 1974 - 1976
PP645/1 M12935 Harold Roy Okely 1916 - 1978
A2487 1922/7031 [Legal opinion about possibility of a prosecution] 1922 - 1922
A12385 SAI/12 [portion of title exempt] - Correspondence 1975 - 1976
A13147 NSR 277 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - Stevedoring Industry Commission. Order No 37-41, 45-59, 65-78 07 Jan 1944 - 30 Nov 1944