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
A1838 766/1 PART 35 China - Economic relations with Australia 1979 - 1979
A1838 3107/7/3 PART 6 China - Tibet - General 1959 - 1959
A1838 100/6/1/2 Relations with foreign services [imposed title, original title wholly exempt] 1956 - 1959
A2487 1921/16461 [Application for assistance - F Lee] 1921 - 1921
A1838 697/8/5/1 PART 3 Australia - Iran - Cooperation in the Indian Ocean 1979 - 1980
A13147 NSR 271 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Economic Organisation) Regulations. Order of Exemption 13 Feb 1946 - 13 Feb 1946
A1838 655/2/3 PART 7 Defence policy planning unit - Australian foreign policy - Submissions to the minister 1984 - 1984
A1838 3107/38/8/3 PART 1 China - Relations with Australia - Cultural - Sport 1971 - 1972
A9816 1943/1301 PART 3 United Kingdom - Liaison with Ministry of Works & Planning (Fielding) 1946 - 1950
E944 AMOONGUNA 1 [Census Report - Amoonguna] 1968 - 1971
A6351 201/02/01-07B Suva - Fiji political general (12/10/1966 - 7/4/1972) 1964 - 1976
A6980 S251088 Evacuees and family reunion from Portuguese Timor - Part 13 1978 - 1979
MT1214/1 448/201/2237 Proposed Award of Netherlands Decorations 15 RAN Personnel 1946 - 1946
A6937 PP/3 URBANCIC, Ljenko 1986 - 1986
A1838 160/11/148 PART 1 Ceylon [Sri Lanka] - Relations with Pakistan 1947 - 1975
A1928 580/9 SECTION 3 International Office of Health. Contributions to upkeep. Section 3. 1947 - 1947
C138 HB130269 WILD, Hazel beneficiary of WILD, Clifford Allen - Service Number - 5212 1988 - 1991
A1838 3107/40/147 PART 15 China - Relations with India 1962 - 1962
PP946/1 MKM37325 REYNOLDS, Raymond Harold - Service Number - 48205 1952 - 1983
K60 HSR37332 TAYLOR, Robert William - Service Number - 5/2481 1984 - 1985