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
D4106 51 Northern Territory General Exhibits - Mental Health Act - Annual Report 1989 - 1989
K60 HBKM33857 VOLUME 1 HARRIS[aka MCLEISH], Maureen Delys beneficiary of MCLEISH, George - Service Number - 2/10421 1975 - 1979
A432 1960/2127 Article in Radical Journal, University of Western Australia Labour Club - Crimes Act Sections 70, 79, 86(b) 01 Jan 1800 - 01 Jan 1800
C1748 ABORIGINES/L8600 TITLE: Bone pointer CATEGORY: photograph PRINCIPAL CREDIT: photographer G Crib FORMAT: b&w print TYPE: silver gelatin STATUS: preservation material 01 Jan 1947 - 31 Dec 1947
D4082 AO458 Alistair 1973 - 1973
A1209 1968/8065 PART 2 Cambodia/South Vietnam relations 1968 1968 - 1968
ST2228/1 BOX 13 Book 1 of 3 Gauges 1962 - 1963
A1838 73/1/3 ANNEX Yugoslavia - Relations with Australia 1968 - 1968
A518 BP118/12 Nauru - Staff - Rowe, E M - Nurse 1940 - 1946
B2539 VH/TFG PART 2 Fokker F27 - Defects - Trans Australia Airlines 22 Feb 1971 - 24 May 1978
MP287/1 1412/4 National Motor Springs: Application from for loan of Centreless Grinding Machines. 1942 - 1942
ST5416/1 200/65/AJASS Reports by officers on exchange duties/visits [Box 9] 1964 - 1970
A13147 NSR 193 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Supplementary) Regulations. Schedule of State Orders. Regulation 60 29 May 1942 - 21 Sep 1945
A7452 A112 Economic and commercial Sigint - ONA report 1980 - 1982
A2487 1920/6028 [Robert Johnston Manson - Recovery of passage money] 1919 - 1920
A13147 NSR 4 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Reg 53 (EL.1); Reg 54 (EL.2-93); Reg 55 (EL.94-100) 29 Apr 1943 - 19 Jun 1943
A13147 NSR 124 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Reg 4 (HP 1-5) 27 Feb 1945 - 27 Feb 1945
A1838 3044/2/9 PART 1 Christmas Island - Treatment in Singapore of hospital patients and prisoners 1959 - 1971
A3978 STRACZEK J H Officers (RAN) personal record - Straczek, Jozeph Henry 1978 - 2005
MP287/1 4557/1 Production executive agenda & decisions 1945 - 1945