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
AWM54 179/1/14 PART 7 [Chemical Warfare - General:] Chemical Warfare and Smoke Intelligence Bulletins, prepared by General Headquarters India, General Staff Branch, MI Directorate, Meerut [Part 7 of 7] 1944 - 1945
K60 HSR39135 VOLUME 1 CHILDS, Ronald Edwin - Service Number - W55713, W37996, WX501099, 5/900135, 5/2537 1960 - 1969
E72 D14818/4 [Portion of Title Expunged] Brett Wayne - Robert Reginald and Erica Dority McKenna 1963 - 1963
PP866/1 H22090 JAMES, Edward Stanley - Service Number - 52571 1962 - 1962
A12805 1 Financial Statements & Estimates 1925 - 1931
A1838 563/6/6/8 Communism - Conference on Co-Operation in Information Activities in South East Asia - Documents Circulated at 1961 Conference 1961 - 1961
A1838 3107/40/52 PART 12 China - Foreign policy - Relations with USSR - General 1960 - 1960
CP71/15 1 North Australian Expedition, September - November 1938 [report by the Leader of the Expedition (Hugh Stuart) to the Minister for the Interior (John McEwen), includes 3 photographs] 25 Dec 1938 - 25 Dec 1938
F1 1952/688 Choolum (Aboriginal) [portion of title exempt] 1940 - 1953
A1838 3034/11/161 PART 17 Indonesia - Relations with USA 1972 - 1975
A11235 15 Senate Journals - 15th Session of Parliament - Volume containing Journal No.1 (8 October 1914) to Journal No. 133 (17 March 1917) together with Sessional Papers and Report from Select Committee and Petition 1914 - 1917
C138 M15184 Samuel Walter CORNWALL [Repatriation medical case file] [box 1377] 1916 - 1968
A6122 1114 Communist Party of Australia. New South Wales - Jannali Branch. 1949 - 1956
B73 H83729 Davies, Albert 7478 (Deceased) 1921 - 1934
A1928 1042/2 SECTION 5 Stores - Authority to Condemn and Dispose of Serum Laboratories 1946 - 1948
A1838 3000/2/15 PART 12 Indo China - Refugees - International attitudes 1979 - 1979
A7342 P1 PROSTHESIS History of, and services provided by the Repatriation Commission and the Repatriation Department - Prosthesis - Manufacture at Repatriation Artificial Limb Factory - brace - trunk 1961 - 1961
A6180 24/8/72/8 Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander peoples - Archaeology - The site of an ancient Aboriginal burial ground 1972 - 1972
A12381 4/7 DSTI Defence Science and Technology Intelligence - Joint Intelligence Organisation Product 1975 - 1976
B300 9723 Obsolete, road vehicles, plant machinery and equipment, writing off - part 1 1961 - 1971