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
A7073 J334/1 PART 5 Anonymous information 1979 - 1980
A1838 3127/2/1 PART 7A Korea - Political - General 1962 - 1962
AWM291 R659/3/2 Provost Unit - Police - Military - SIB [Special Investigation Branch] Investigations Jan 1971 - Aug 1971
A13147 NSR 461 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Reg 53 & 55 (F.1); Reg 54 (F.2-9) 13 Jul 1940 - 29 Jul 1940
A518 CD824/1 Acquisition of properties by Administration - Custodian of Expropriated Property 1948 - 1955
MP304/2 TEL1933/561 Interference with programme transmission lines and plant 1933 - 1933
A2090 34 Box of personal index cards titled between McGillick and McLay 1916 - 1950
K1109 WA79/1828/A1/FOLDER 42 Rottnest Island - Kingston Barracks sewerage system 1979 - 1979
A816 48/302/16 Paul Jacklin 1940 - 1941
MP304/1 1934/2244 E.J. Ford - Retirement because of invalidity 1934 - 1934
D2952 PL10/1981 Darke Peak - EWS water pipe under railway 1981 - 1984
A10156 302 The China Navigation Company Limited versus the yacht BUAJA 1973 - 1974
MP1/1 2/107/185 Minutes of meeting of Bread Industry Review Committee 1946 - 1946
A13147 NSR 442 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Reg 4 (FM 1-2); Reg 5 (FM 3); Reg 54 (FM 4-76); Reg 55 (FM 77-78) 15 Dec 1943 - 14 Jan 1944
AWM54 179/1/20 PART 8 [Chemical Warfare - General:] Australian Military Forces: Technical Notes and Staff Notes - Chemical Warfare, Dec 1944 [Part 8 of 19] 1944 - 1944
K60 MKM37389 BYLES, Henry Thomas - Service Number - R45740 1951 - 1988
A10311 VOLUME 1 Registers of citizenship by descent - birth registers (Paris) 1974 - 1990
A3092 221/11/9 PART 21 Indonesia 19 Oct 1960 - 13 Dec 1960
D2952 CR809/1979 Edillilie - Pipe and cable under railway account Telecom Australia [51.553km, Telecom Australia Proposal number W548 - Edillilie excavation under railway - Hundred of Mortlock, Series identification to be confirmed] 1979 - 1979
A2539 B1988/123 Brief for the Timor Gap Officials Talks in Jakarta - 3-4 September 1988 1988 - 1988