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
C139 MX225322 Jack Reginald PYE [Repatriation medical case file] [Box 53580] 1943 - 1945
D1915 SA2460 FACARIS Basilios Alexander - naturalization 1930 - 1947
A1838 3107/40/161 PART 39 China - Relations with USA 1976 - 1977
A1838 3107/38/14 PART 12 China - Relations with Australia - Briefing material 1978 - 1979
A5897 401/2 ANZUK - Intelligence Organization. 1971 - 1972
D4082 WB351 Marie Carmel Merridy 1963 - 1971
A1838 688/9/3 SEACDT [South East Asia Collective Defence Treaty] - Counter subversion - Burma - Special branch training 1955 - 1957
M4545 2 Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs - February 1983 to October 1983 Feb 1982 - 04 Oct 1983
PP864/1 M16652 MUNDAY, William George - Service Number - 1083 1918 - 1959
A1928 682/8 SECTION 5 Munitions Medical Services Relations with Controller of Welfare and Department of Labour & National Service. Section 5. 1947 - 1949
B741 V/706 [P. Grierson. Whereabouts] 1924 - 1926
PP946/1 HKM39599 GREGORY, John Barrington - Service Number - 36779 1978 - 1979
A1928 705/37 Navigation Act & Regulations Treatment of B. Helm, S.S. Mataram 1930 - 1930
A1200 L86495 Aboriginal people and torres strait islander peoples - Tribal - Dancers perform at corroboree near Darwin 1970 - 1970
A425 1970/5264 Cuba/Communist China economic relations 1965 - 1965
D4091 N/1/28 New South Wales Case Files - Edward James MURRAY: N/1/37 Statement of witness (name suppressed) 25/2/1988 [Box 8] 1988 - 1988
A1838 TS181/1/4 Middle East. Joint Intelligence Weekly Review of Middle East 1956 - 1961
E72 D3193 [Portion of Title Expunged] Kevin John Purdy - Gloria Purdy 1954 - 1956
ST2228/1 BOX 3 [Heavy projectile manufacture] 1957 - 1957
A9737 1992/13236 Law of the Sea - Coral Sea Islands ( including Cato Island ) 18 May 1944 - 30 Jun 1992