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
D1915 SA2439 SECCIE Michele - naturalisation 1929 - 1930
CP548/1 233 Transport of Fodder to Broken Hill 1946 - 1946
K60 C22152 MANSBRIDGE , William Owen - Service Number - 5256 1920 - 1958
A10028 801/2/15 PART 2 China : political reporting - personal letters 26 Feb 1980 - 20 Mar 1985
C138 C41729 William STEELL [Repatriation pension case file] [box 15645] 1918 - 1973
MP456/3 Q1944/111 Depot Staff - N. Todkill 1942 - 1947
A437 1947/6/165 Fruechtenichtk, Helmut - Deportation 1946 - 1947
A518 852/1/805 New Guinea Staff - Irving, M - Typist [7 pages] 1939 - 1943
PP946/1 HKM38710 MORIARTY, Desmond Thomas - Service Number - 4/1450 1958 - 1968
M3793 247 US Visit: Records of Prime Minister's Conversations 1985 - Background notes on Cambodia for Debate on 19 March - Papers re: Ministerial responsibility 1960 - 1988
AWM66 25/8/1 [RAAF miscellaneous records:] Department of National Defence (Army) [Canada] - Army/Air Planning Vol 1 1946 - 1946
A7322 55 General administrative files - Defence Sub-Committee - Briefing papers - Defence force structure - strategic assessments 25 Jan 1976 - Dec 1983
MT99/2 1944/542 Staff - R L Piesse 3rd Grade Diver 1943 - 1944
A13307 89/1 [Austlii printout of] Declaration Prohibiting the Use of Expanding Bullets [dum-dums - Hague Declaration III] - Date and place of signing: The Hague, 29 July 1899 - Date of entry into force for Australia: 4 September 1900 - ATS Number: [1907] ATS 7 - Language: English 29 Jul 1899 - 22 Apr 2003
A2090 47 Box of personal index cards titled between Richards and Rodd 1916 - 1950
A1838 169/10/2 India - Relations with Australia - Economic [3cms] 1951 - 1973
A2090 15 Box of personal index cards titled between Duncanson to Elliott 1916 - 1950
MT99/2 1946/532 Staff - Chadwick H F - 1st Grade Diver 1943 - 1946
A12987 S15 Senate Select Committee on Medical and Hospital Costs - Submissions No 1 of 3 Bundles, Part A - Institute of Applied Economic Research (University of Melbourne) 1968 - 1968
A13147 NSR 465 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Reg 4 (M.1); Reg 53(2) (M.2-6); Reg 54 (M.7-27); Reg 55 (M.28-30) 11 Oct 1940 - 27 Nov 1940