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
A1838 TS654/3/9 Middle East. Intelligence summaries. 1956 - 1956
F1 1954/764 Restricted - State Childrens Council - Margaret Lillian Morgan and Elsie Merle Clayton 1954 - 1956
PP174/2 NN Official Log Book of the "Sea Search" [Arrival - 30/1/1965] 1965 - 1965
M3826 2 Personal correspondence 1983 [part 2] 1983 - 1983
A703 564/3/342 PART 7 Standard procedure for staff targets and requirements and staff works requirements 1970 - 1972
B26 MBX101119 Porter, William John 1953 - 1977
A1838 3020/2/7 PART 2 Vietnam - Political - Human rights 1978 - 1980
C4076 HN17132 Cooranbong Post Office 1984 - 1984
MP1049/5 1944/2/160 Gun crews for merchant ships 1945 - 1945
A1209 1965/6411 PART 2 Prime Minister's conference - June 1965 - Initiative on Vietnam 1965 - 1965
M89 1 Diary of Major Richard Victor MORSE 1916 - 1918
B73 M6875 SMART, George William - Service Number - 1957 1915 - 1931
B1535 738/1/77 [Compensation Recoverable from Commonwealth Following Injury and Death Member RAAF] 1939 - 1939
A1838 3125/2/1 PART 9 North Korea - Political 1968 - 1970
A1838 3000/2/9/1 PART 45 Indo China Australian policy towards Indo Chinese refugees 1983 - 1984
B2458 614656 NIGHTINGALE, Gergory Farrar 1977 - 2005
A2090 26 Box of personal index cards titled between Howell and Jacks 1916 - 1950
A3092 221/1/4/1/1 PART 1A SEATO Council 15 Dec 1966 - 05 Dec 1967
F1 1959/1718 Child and General Welfare Correspondence District Welfare Office Alice Springs 1959 - 1963
A1209 1968/8065 PART 1 Cambodia/South Vietnam relations 1968 1968 - 1968