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 179/2/7 [Chemical Warfare - Training:] Report by Major General H W Goldney on a visit to Australia and Washington, 24 Dec 1943 - 6 Feb 1944 1943 - 1944
A1838 686/2/24 PART 1 Defence - ANZUS - 31st ANZUS council meeting June 1982 1981 - 1982
A1838 3107/2/2 PART 3 China - Political Information - United Kingdom - Summaries 1961 - 1963
A3968 EXHIBITS 268 TO 270 ?Confidential material from Mobil Oil Australia Limited? 1969 - 1975
B741 V/22689 Reinhold Boelter 1944 - 1953
A13014 F.6.10.1 Follow up on Committee Reports - Inquiry into Banking - Background Material 13 May 1989 - 03 Dec 1992
A1838 1733/3/2 PART 6 Law of the sea - Delimitation - Australia - Indonesia [Timor] 1978 - 1979
D4082 WB653 Ronald Fraser 1966 - 1967
B73 H49098 LEWIS, Howell Edward [14 pages] 1949 - 1949
B741 V/1295 Mrs Olle - Inquiries to Trace 1924 - 1932
A1928 1181/47/3/20 War. MECC (Medical Equipment Control Committee) & CMCC (Central Medical Coordination Committee) Staff. Miss J.B. Skeels 1945 - 1945
A6122 1026 Communist Party of Australia. New South Wales Schools [Volume 1] 1949 - 1958
A3968 EXHIBITS 368A TO 370 (Sheer Australia, Mobile Oil Australia, Confidential imformation.) 1972 - 1975
B26 MX53065 PART 2 LEONARD, Charles James Henry 1952 - 1994
A6119 296 Edward George ROBERTSON Volume 3 1949 - 1959
A432 1985/16294 Kokotovic J, Nekic M, Zvirotic, Bebic M, Brajkovic - versus - Regina - subpoena to produce documents 1985 - 1987
A3963 S6/7 West Australian Petroleum Pty.Ltd. 1974 - 1975
A7322 49 General administrative files - Defence Sub-Committee - Unnumbered submissions - Newcastle Dockyard 23 Aug 1979 - 02 Feb 1982
A1928 1023/56 Staff Permanent - Central W.H. Platt 1931 - 1947
A2487 1922/3833 [Question of Departmental liability for medical treatment for ex-servicemen - Arthur Bricknell] 1922 - 1922