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
M2641 1975-5/4 PART 1 Minister Legal & Treaties (Law of the Sea; UN Legal) 1975 - 1980
A6980 S250983 Admission of Japanese - policy - Part 4 1970 - 1971
A1838 3127/11/147 Korea - Relations with India 1949 - 1987
A750 1991/1120 Hon EG Whitlam - personal records 1991 - 1995
A1838 311/6/3/1 PART 3 Nauru - Scientific and agricultural phosphates - Phosphate Commissioners 1970 - 1979
B44 V1976/9234 Cakakios [Cacakios], George 1976 - 1977
A1533 1971/1439 C ROWLAND, Keren Ellen - Missing person - Questionaire's 1971 - 1971
A437 1947/6/10 Pallaser-Hohenstein, Robert Frans - Alien control 1946 - 1948
A1838 338/1 PART 34 South Pacific Condominium Territories - New Hebrides - Administration - General 1979 - 1980
A438 1950/7/764 Exercise of Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction over nationals or members of the United Nations 1950 - 1950
A1838 720/5/7 PART 13 Atomic energy - Australia - Relations with India 1984 - 1985
A2487 1921/693 [Application for tools of trade - William John Banks] 1920 - 1921
B26 MX10960 PART 2 Gavin, Herbert Robert John 1940 - 1975
A1838 3004/13/18 PART 1 Neutralism in South East Asia [2cms] 1959 - 1971
AWM54 179/10/1 [Chemical Warfare - Supply:] 1) Axis gas storage dumps and depots for gas; 2) Annex 1 to War Office Weekly Intelligence Summary, No 148, Jun 1942 - German Smoke troops 1943 - 1943
A4243 76 Tasmanian Board Mills Limited 1974 - 1976
A705 7/1/2210 Civil aviation section - Napperby Station [Northern Territory] - aerodrome 1952 - 1952
A13147 NSR 214 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Egg Vendors (South Australia) Order. Regulation 59 20 Sep 1943 - 25 Jan 1946
C163 WHOLE SERIES [Veteran's Affairs] Personal case files, single number series with 'Q' prefix (query files) 1914 - 1992
M3357 RJC/45/2 ASEAN draft chapter 2 1985 - 1985