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
MP16/1 1918/470 Turner, Wallie 1918 - 1918
D2952 PL115/1981 Proposed closure of Innes Avenue level crossing [Newspaper article reporting proposed closure of Innes Avenue crossing, plan showing location of crossing - Thevenard Station Yard] 1981 - 1982
A1500 K6900 FR FOLIO REMOVAL - 1 NEGATIVE - Aboriginal people and torres strait islander peoples - Art - Cave paintings and carving, Ayers Rock 1961 - 1961
B73 M13873 Westcott, William Charles [3.5 cm] 1916 - 1952
K38 1980/556 Commonwealth Employment Service (administration) CES policy on discrimination [Department of Labour/Employment] 1980 - 1984
AWM54 244/2/11 [Demolitions - Schemes:] Demolition - Albert Railway Bridge, Indooroopilly, Brisbane Fortress Area, Belt "G", Jan 1943 1943 - 1943
AWM347 189 [Directorate of Military Intelligence] First Commando Regiment - Standing Operation Procedures for Training and Safety - Part 3 - Special Warfare Operations - SOP 45-59 - 1984 1984 - 1984
A1838 1634/78/4/1 PART 1 Indo-chinese refugees - Other United Nations and international action - Special United Nations meetings, Geneva July 1975 1979 - 1979
A1838 3107/40/161 PART 29 China - Relations with United States of America 1972 - 1972
A12812 22 Inquiry into Darwin Sewerage - Statement of evidence, originating papers, correspondence, unnumbered submissions, briefing papers, final report, tabling details, approval of work 04 Jul 1972 - 13 Jul 1976
A6980 S203049 MOURAVIEFF Alexander Alexandrovich 1958 - 1974
A4529 10/1/2/1955 PART 2 Indo-China: Information for JIB [Joint Intelligence Bureau] 1955 - 1956
F1 1970/1005 Access Ways and Garages - Wood Street Flats 1959 - 1969
A432 1931/143 Income Tax Assessment Act 1922/30 - Sec 20(2) Income Tax Acts 1930 (Nos. 51 & 61 of 1930) - Sec.7A 1931 - 1931
K26 MX52241 Norman John Munro 1940 - 1988
A3092 221/12/2/2 PART 2C Recognition of Communist China 01 Jun 1964 - 27 Nov 1964
K60 MBKM32132 READ, Eva Lucille beneficiary of READ, Graham Lawson - Service Number - 5/1209 1951 - 1984
A1838 48/1/3/4 PART 4 Poland - Visitors to Australia 1978 - 1983
C4076 HN17338 Cumnock Post Office (see HN16032) 1980 - 1980
A1838 720/4/9 PART 22 Australian atomic energy - Uranium enrichment non proliferation aspects 1979 - 1979