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
A11235 23 Senate Journals - 23rd Session of Parliament - Volume containing Journal No. 1 (13 January 1926) to Journal No.148 (22 September 1928) together with Sessional Papers and Reports from Standing Committee 1926 - 1928
MP729/8 4/431/69 Production of Mechanical Tune Fuzes 208 1950 - 1950
A2618 DOCUMENT 3529 TO 3531 Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Authority (SMHEA). Contracts and Reports on Murray 1 Pressure Pipeline; Murray 1 Project Aqueducts; Khancoban Dam and associated works; Murray 2 Power Station Site and the Geology of Khancoban Project and associated works. 1961 - 1963
C605 LA609 Headquarters staff - Miss E V Courtney 1944 - 1946
E72 DL2542 Parry, Joseph and Topsy [Portion of Title Expunged] Wendy Parry 1953 - 1954
A518 852/1/800 New Guinea Staff - Haley, V W [0.5cm] 1938 - 1951
B26 MX161607 PART 1 Carter, James Stewart 1941 - 1952
A13147 NSR 266 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Economic Organisation) Regulations. Schedule of State Orders. Regulation 17A 07 Aug 1942 - 07 Aug 1942
D5159 41 KESWICK BARRACKS - VIC EXAMPLES Re Keswick barracks - Victorian Examples 1991 - 1991
F985 1972/328 Victoria River District - Sacred Sites 1967 - 1969
A705 7/1/2036 Navigation - Limitations of runway dimension for RAAF aircraft 1945 - 1949
D2952 PL32/1981 Thevenard Line - 356.82km near Nunjikompita - Telecom conduit under railway - also at 363.670km [Sketch showing location of proposed Telecom conduit] 1981 - 1981
C123 11612 Glasheen, Denise Nancy [Box 359] 1940 - 1943
A13014 F.4.5.1 Aboriginal Development Commission - Final Report and other Documents 27 Feb 1984 - 30 May 1985
A1533 1955/4413 John BIRCH and others 1955 - 1966
A518 I801/1/7 Entries under Regulation 21A - National Security (External Territories) Regulations - Buchanan, P M 1945 - 1945
A1838 1690/1/6/3 PART 4 Australian refugee policy - Indonesia - Irian - Jayan - Refugee claimants 1985 - 1985
A6122 1090 Communist Party of Australia - Queensland - illegal apparatus 1949 - 1956
A1838 1743/1/5 PART 8 Antarctic treaty decisive conference on the convention for the conservation of Antarctic marine living 1979 - 1979
A1928 1020/23 Staff Permanent - Central & Victoria Miss. W. Scott 1932 - 1947