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
A3973 N/N Demands for 1985 Costs at 1977 1974 - 1977
A7073 J209/72 PART 1 Avoidance of taxation - Selection of test cases 1979 - 1979
A7363 8 Briefing papers 01 Jan 1982 - 16 Dec 1982
PP866/1 H15737 GARTNER, William - Service Number - 1814 1960 - 1960
AWM54 244/3/3 [Demolitions - Preparation:] Report on demolition plan for road bridge over Minnamurra River, and the Nowra Area. Reconnaissance carried out by Capt Carmicheal 1942 - 1942
A10028 821/1/1 PART 2 Australia/ China - policy 07 Jul 1981 - 19 Apr 1983
A1200 L66849 Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander peoples - Implements and weapons - Aboriginal implements, woomera, boomerang, bull roarers and spears etc CATEGORY: Photograph PRINCIPAL CREDIT: Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) FORMAT: b&w negative TYPE: cellulose acetate STATUS: preservation material 1967 - 1967
A11116 CA1811 Part 1 South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone 13 Mar 1985 - 17 Apr 1986
B73 H38264 SPROAT, James 1937 - 1953
A6135 K24/5/78/63 Aboriginal people and torres strait islander peoples - Tribal - Aboriginals preparing for corroboree, Northern Territory, 1978 1978 - 1978
A4245 NN Tasmanian Transport Inquiry CONFIDENTIAL Transcript 01 Jan 1800 - 01 Jan 1800
K60 HKM33816 VOLUME 1 RANDALL, Oliver Ernest - Service Number - 9216, 4/400183 1946 - 1966
A3959 A3/9 Consultants. KINNAIRD HILL DE ROHAN and YOUNG Pty. Ltd. 1974 - 1974
A2487 1919/179 [All file papers removed] 1919 - 1919
A1838 3107/38/1/6 PART 2 China - Relations with Australia - Australian representation - Officials' talks 1980 - 1982
A432 1929/488 Claim of Yellow Cabs of Australia Ltd. for damage done to Yellow Cab by Defence Department Tractor. 1929 - 1929
A1838 1634/75/1 PART 6 Indo Chinese refugees - Australian policies and programs - General policies 1981 - 1982
A12983 12 Inquiry into Meat Industry - In-camera Transcripts - Canberra x 3 24 Jul 1973 - 30 Oct 1973
AWM54 179/5/8 PART 8 [Chemical Warfare - Trials:] Munitions Supply Laboratories. Abstract reports indexed in records of Chemical Defence Board [Part 8 of 23] 1944 - 1944
A7452 A269 Falklands crisis - intelligence arrangements 1982 - 1984