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
A1928 1040/6 SECTION 2B Stores and Equipment Central Office 1947 - 1948
AWM315 449/009/096 02 [Australian War Memorial correspondence file:] Inquiries - Private: Information regarding relics and records other than those relating to AWM 1971 - 1976
B26 HX51680 PART 2 TATT, Leslie Theodore 1991 - 1993
A432 1931/00309 Transferred Property: Easements: Port Macquarie Post Office: drainage on to land belonging to R.G. Davidson 1931 - 1931
D4148 10 Northern Territory General Correspondence Records of Mr David ALLEN, Instructing Solicitor: Correctional Services 1988 - 1990
MP927/1 A323/1/1062 RAAF School of Languages - 1958 - Indonesian 1957 - 1958
E72 DL1548 Liddy Eric Charles - [Portion of Title Expunged] Rupert James and Maluda Kentish - [Portion of Title Expunged] 1951 - 1951
D2952 PL45/1980 Yeelanna - Extension to siding [Drawing of proposed extension to siding at Yeelanna - Scale 1:480, Drawing of Yeelanna - Thevenard Line - 81.726km - Scale 1:1 584] 1980 - 1981
A2487 1921/3240 [Regarding assistance - Drew O A Mrs] 1920 - 1921
A5799 216/1955 Technical intelligence assistance for Australian Services attaches in South East Asia 1955 - 1956
A1838 519/3/1/3 PART 3 Formosa relations with Australia - Australian representation in Formosa 1965 - 1972
A10028 225/2 PART 3 China's relations and attitudes to other countries - world powers - USA 1974 - 1974
C139 CX253429 Francis (Frank) John O'NEILL [Repatriation pension case file] [Box 24530] 1956 - 1958
A3963 S4/47 Queensland Dept. of Labour Relations and Consumer Affairs 1975 - 1975
A705 161/22/1084 A23344, Leading Aircraftman, Sumner, J A - [portion of title exempt] 1953 - 1954
A7919 C99600 Andreoli, Rocco (Army) PWI 58074 - Born: 14 April 1917, San Giovanni Incarico Italy - Captured: 11 December 1901, Bug Bug Egypt - Previously interned: 6 March 1941, India - Arrived Australia: MARIPOSA, 5 Febriaru 1944, Melbourne Victoria - Interned: Murchison Victoria - Departed: OTRANTO, 10 January 1947, for Naples Italy 1944 - 1947
A13147 NSR 79 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Prisoners of War) Regulations. Reg 8: Order 17 (JM 1) 15 Nov 1946 - 15 Nov 1946
A1838 160/11/161 PART 1 Ceylon - Relations with United States of America 1948 - 1963
A518 852/1/753 New Guinea - Nauru - Lord, S [1cm] 1938 - 1949
M1256 1977A PART 3 [Personal Papers of Prime Minister Fraser] Correspondence '1977A' [relating to Australian Union of Students, manufacturing industry etc, includes 'Proposal for the Founding of a Commonwealth and Western European Economic Plan' by Robert K Andrew (UK, September 1974)] 14 Jun 1977 - 24 Aug 1977