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 268 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Immobilization of Vessels Order (No 3). Regulation 45D 18 Aug 1944 - 18 Aug 1944
B741 V/11083 Pierre Lander 1933 - 1933
A1838 1957/5/16 PART 2 ASIO training assistance given to foreign security services 1974 - 1974
A13147 NSR 491 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - Miscellaneous 26 Sep 1939 - 15 Apr 1944
A6122 553 CPA [Communist Party of Australia] NSW [New South Wales] Student Committee 1949 - 1949
D1915 SA1731 McCLELLAN John - permit to leave Australia 1927 - 1927
D2952 PL69/1981 Guards working - Twin Unit working with hook couplings - Eyre Peninsula Lines 1980 - 1982
A10028 800/1/5 PART 1 China - overseas Chinese 1977 - 1978
K60 MKM38965 KLISURA, Jack - Service Number - 5/505 1947 - 1995
AWM54 179/5/17 PART 4 [Chemical Warfare - Trials:] Far Eastern Technical Unit, Research Section, Pacific Warfare Board - Reports No 4, 5 and 6 1945 - 1945
A13147 NSR 247 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Manufacture of Omnibus Bodies Order. Regulation 59 01 May 1944 - 01 May 1944
B26 MX105034 ROGERS, Carl Geoffrey [1.00 cms] 1946 - 1950
A1945 222/2/9 ATTACHMENT 2 Disposal of demi official correspondence between Brigadier Rourke (former First Assistant Secretary) and Australian Defence Representatives Overseas - background Boase/Hewitt 1948 - 1951
A13373 B2(c ) Information from Overseas Parliaments - Canada 25 Jun 1982 - 12 Aug 1982
A1209 1959/547 PART 1 China-Australia intelligence survey - Airfields and flying boat bases 1959 - 1959
A13147 NSR 111 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Control of Drums Order. Regulations 59 18 Jan 1943 - 18 Jan 1943
A1945 24/1/22 Item of mutual interest 1965 - 1965
B1535 752/12/53 [The Case of Lt T Chilton] 1935 - 1935
N7 1964/262 PART 2 Immigration - Passenger Lists - Arrivals [Christmas Island] 1965 - 1966
A1838 563/10/3 PART 5 Communism - SEATO - Information Committee 1956 - 1956