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
A705 108/2/206 Court of Enquiry. Disclosure of documents in regard to Air Board contract with Royal Queensland Aero Club 1940 - 1942
A7073 J174/109 PART 1 Private companies - Avoidance of division7 tax by creation of trusts 1954 - 1957
A13147 NSR 69 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Shearing of Sheep) Regulations. Exemption 28 Feb 1944 - 11 May 1945
PP18/1 R1141 ORR, Wallace - Service Number - 114 1916 - 1956
A3968 EXHIBIT 267 Mobil. Develop owned land Ferntree Gully Vic. Cnr. Ferntree Gully & Scoresby Rds. 1973 - 1974
A659 1939/1/3458 Alikaris, P C - Admission of relative 1937 - 1939
A1838 3020/10/6 PART 11 North Vietnam - Relations with Australia - Australian representation 1980 - 1982
MP16/1 1915/3/805 Mayer Ludwig 1914 - 1915
A437 1946/6/273 Walter, Friedrich and family - Alien control 1946 - 1947
A1928 1020/11 Staff Permanent Central and Victoria D.R. Conly 1920 - 1934
A5931 CL806 SPECIAL ANNEX Australia - Japan Ministerial Committee Meeting - Tokyo 1973 - Special Annex SA/4 Jun 1973 - Jun 1973
A1209 1976/1476 PART 5 Australian/Peoples Republic of China (Mainland) relations - Including recognition 1977 - 1978
A1533 1955/4267 Robert Andrew BLOOMFIELD and others 1951 - 1959
A1838 1652/2/7 PART 6 Terrorism - Armenian Groups 1985 - 1988
A1945 56/1/12 Defence of Australian forces against chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) weapons [2.5cm] 1964 - 1966
C4076 HN5729 PART A Celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of postal services at Wollongong Post Office 1982 - 1982
M1827 145 [Sir Harry Gibbs (Justice, High Court of Australia)] Judgements never delivered : Harding; British Petroleum versus Hunt 16 Sep 1975 - Nov 1980
A2487 1922/10938 [Application for medical treatment - William Urquhart] 1922 - 1922
B4794 BURNS, GEORGINA [Claim for Special Benefit - Georgina Burns] 1968 - 1969
P107 HB10145 PART 1 HARRIS, Alice C beneficiary of HARRIS, Aubrey Francis - Service Number - 2137 1988 - 1989