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
D4082 WB182 Ian McLeod 1961 - 1961
A432 1982/2367 Kokotovic J, Nekic M, Zvirotic, Bebic M, Brajkovic V - versus - Regina - subpoena to produce documents 1982 - 1985
A452 1972/3428 IDC [Interdepartmental Committee] on internal security arrangements after self government - Papua New Guinea [3cm] 1972 - 1972
PP866/1 M15445 ROWLANDS, Roy - Service Number - 551 1916 - 1962
AWM239 170 RAN Medical Officers' Journal: PENGUIN (1 January 1940 - 30 June 1941) 1940 - 1941
B73 R45507 Baker, Eric Wilson 3031 Sergeant 1919 - 1920
A1209 1969/9015 ATTACHMENT 2 Prime Minister of Australia - Visit to United States of America and Canada, March-April 1969 - Briefing papers 1969 - 1969
K60 MSR38936 CORRY, Henry Kingsley - Service Number - A562 1940 - 1984
A8307 REGISTER 131 Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1948 - Register of Births, London - No 131 1949 - 1984
K403 W59/1478 [Immigration Department] Re-entry - general endorsements - schedules to ASIO 1968 - 1972
D2363 1973/56 Food Services Operation and Survey Reports - PMG [Post Master General] Engineering Branch Adelaide - [Administration of cafeteria. Time scale of duties to be performed by attendants. Cafeteria Briefing Plan. Plan of Proposed alterations] 1967 - 1970
A452 1964/3504 K Nayda - Commonwealth Ward from the Northern Territory 1964 - 1964
A1838 3016/11/113 PART 13 Kampuchea - Relations with Vietnam 1978 - 1978
A3959 A4/1 Working Party on Joint Requiry Proposed 1974 - 1974
K60 HSR37773 DUNSTAN, Alan Joseph - Service Number - 5/410259 1960 - 1989
A5799 164/1956 Strategic basis of Australian Defence Policy 1956 - 1956
A8307 REGISTER 100 Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1948 - Register of Births, London - No 100 1975 - 1976
J849 4/1/AIR/4 PART 6 Establishments 482 SQN 1979 - 1980
A1928 1181/47/3/3 War. MECC (Medical Equipment Control Committee) & CMCC (Central Medical Coordination Committee) Staff. D.A. Butler. (Clegg) 1944 - 1946
C138 HB66303 WALKER, Lillian A beneficiary of WALKER, Alfred William - Service Number - 3287 1988 - 1988