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
A2487 1921/11712 [Benefit for A W Bragg] 1917 - 1921
A1838 3038/10/10/2 PART 2 Portuguese Timor - Visits to Australia of Govenors, officials and citizens 1975 - 1984
PP926/1 MX41229 Keith George King 1940 - 1974
PP946/1 MKM39153 VOLUME 1 NEWELL, Bernard John - Service Number - 27632 1939 - 1962
D2952 PL65/1980 Cummins - Application from Australian Barley Board to relocate Classification facilities to Station Yard - also Edillilie [Sketch of Cummins Yard, Drawing number A.80.6007/1 - Classification Office 6.0m x 3.0m - Scale 1:50, Drawing number A.P.C.6030 - Perimeter Chassis - Scale 1:50, Drawing number A.C.D.004 - Typical Atlas section for council purposes, Atlas Housing Group] 1980 - 1980
A5897 237/4 PT3 Planning and Policy - Australian Defence Policy. 1976 - 1980
A1838 3034/2/1/2 PART 1 Indonesia - Political - Situation Reports 1957 - 1964
CP548/1 D255 Sugar - Federation of Retail Grocer's Associations 1946 - 1946
AWM54 244/2/15 [Demolitions - Schemes:] Demolition Plans: Brisbane Fortress Area, Belt "K" 1939 - 1945
A4359 221/5/5 PART 2 [Jakarta] - Indonesian relations with China 1963 - 1968
A1838 656/1/2/2 PART 3 Information and intelligence - Regional South East Asia Indonesia 1954 - 1954
A1838 1500/1/3/53 Diplomatic representatives in Australia - USSR [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics] - Pravda correspondent 1962 - 1982
A1838 694/2/3 PART 2 Exchange of intelligence material with the United States of America 1956 - 1958
C138 H138045 CAMPBELL [aka HARRIS], Arthur C - Service Number - N/A 1990 - 1990
A2090 39 Box of personal index cards titled between Moorehouse and Murname 1916 - 1950
A13147 NSR 345 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - Statutory Rules 1942, No's 135-147, 149-157, 160-177, 188-189, 195-201, 206-208, 213-230 18 Mar 1942 - 14 May 1942
D1915 SA1260 KLESSIG Robert Oswin 1925 - 1943
A452 1972/4080 NIC [National Intelligence Committee] paper 36(72) - Basic factors affecting internal security and stability in Papua New Guinea [2cm] 1972 - 1972
A3962 T1/6 T.A.B.S. Refinery Study 1974 - 1974
C4076 HN16103 PART B West Kempsey Post Office 1978 - 1978