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
A3963 S1/21 Royal Commission on Petroleum - Woodside Burmeh Oil N.L. 1974 - 1976
A13141 FOC7 (8J) Senate Select Committee on Foreign Ownership and Control of Australian Resources - Correspondence - Mining Mar 1972 - Jan 1974
C3428 RIDGEWAY LA PART 7 Ridgeway, Leslie Arthur (personal file) [Box 21] 1981 - 1985
A1838 3027/2/9 PART 66 Malaysia - Internal security - General 1979 - 1981
PP618/1 73/419 [Civil Aviation] Cunderdin - government aerodrome 1973 - 1974
A1838 759/2 PART 29 Japan - Reports on Economic Developments 1973 - 1974
B73 M20430 THOMPSON, Thomas William 1916 - 1962
B26 MX192275 BISH, Donald James 1943 - 1989
AWM54 179/1/20 PART 2 [Chemical Warfare - General:] Allied Land Forces, South West Pacific Area: Technical Notes and Staff Notes - Chemical Warfare, Oct 1942 [Part 2 of 19] 1942 - 1942
A12812 59 Inquiry into Australian government offices, Casurina, NT - Statement of evidence, terms of reference, correspondence 07 Mar 1974 - 21 Jan 1975
B26 HX77674 Cahill,Kevin Patrick 1946 - 1957
A434 1948/3/1776 Johann Georg Linsenmeier [Maria Marghareta, Gustav Adolf, Hildegarde Ruth, Ernst Erich, Konrad, Irmela and Ingeborg Else Linsenmeier] - Admission 1947 - 1948
A1209 1959/143 Brian Rebbechi's talks on "Industrial development in the Far East" 1959 - 1959
AWM54 179/3/3 PART 5 [Chemical Warfare - Types of Agents:] Canada, Sub-Committee on Physiological Aspects of Chemical Warfare, Dec 1943 - Report on Treatment of Phosgene Poisoning 1943 - 1943
A1838 69/4/7/2 PART 1 Political - USSR [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics] - Social and cultural - Science and environment - Chernobyl nuclear accident 1986 - 1986
A2539 B1989/135 Brief for the Timor Gap Zone of Cooperation Negotiations in Jogjakarta 11-16 September 1989 1989 - 1989
K60 HKM39793 SMITH, William Richard - Service Number - 6/803 1984 - 1987
A1209 1981/1791 PART 3 Australia's relations with Indonesia - East Timor 1982 - 1982
A14039 8056 Cabinet Memorandum 8056 - Title exempt - Decision 15324/SEC 25 Jun 1991 - 02 Jul 1991
AWM114 481/7/3 [Medical - Statistics and Graphs:] 130 Australian General Hospital - AIF Admission and Discharge Book (Jun-Dec) 1947 - 1947