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?
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!
|Series||Control Symbol||Title||Contents dates|
|D1915||SA2439||SECCIE Michele - naturalisation||1929 - 1930|
|CP548/1||233||Transport of Fodder to Broken Hill||1946 - 1946|
|K60||C22152||MANSBRIDGE , William Owen - Service Number - 5256||1920 - 1958|
|A10028||801/2/15 PART 2||China : political reporting - personal letters||26 Feb 1980 - 20 Mar 1985|
|C138||C41729||William STEELL [Repatriation pension case file] [box 15645]||1918 - 1973|
|MP456/3||Q1944/111||Depot Staff - N. Todkill||1942 - 1947|
|A437||1947/6/165||Fruechtenichtk, Helmut - Deportation||1946 - 1947|
|A518||852/1/805||New Guinea Staff - Irving, M - Typist [7 pages]||1939 - 1943|
|PP946/1||HKM38710||MORIARTY, Desmond Thomas - Service Number - 4/1450||1958 - 1968|
|M3793||247||US Visit: Records of Prime Minister's Conversations 1985 - Background notes on Cambodia for Debate on 19 March - Papers re: Ministerial responsibility||1960 - 1988|
|AWM66||25/8/1||[RAAF miscellaneous records:] Department of National Defence (Army) [Canada] - Army/Air Planning Vol 1||1946 - 1946|
|A7322||55||General administrative files - Defence Sub-Committee - Briefing papers - Defence force structure - strategic assessments||25 Jan 1976 - Dec 1983|
|MT99/2||1944/542||Staff - R L Piesse 3rd Grade Diver||1943 - 1944|
|A13307||89/1||[Austlii printout of] Declaration Prohibiting the Use of Expanding Bullets [dum-dums - Hague Declaration III] - Date and place of signing: The Hague, 29 July 1899 - Date of entry into force for Australia: 4 September 1900 - ATS Number:  ATS 7 - Language: English||29 Jul 1899 - 22 Apr 2003|
|A2090||47||Box of personal index cards titled between Richards and Rodd||1916 - 1950|
|A1838||169/10/2||India - Relations with Australia - Economic [3cms]||1951 - 1973|
|A2090||15||Box of personal index cards titled between Duncanson to Elliott||1916 - 1950|
|MT99/2||1946/532||Staff - Chadwick H F - 1st Grade Diver||1943 - 1946|
|A12987||S15||Senate Select Committee on Medical and Hospital Costs - Submissions No 1 of 3 Bundles, Part A - Institute of Applied Economic Research (University of Melbourne)||1968 - 1968|
|A13147||NSR 465||National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Reg 4 (M.1); Reg 53(2) (M.2-6); Reg 54 (M.7-27); Reg 55 (M.28-30)||11 Oct 1940 - 27 Nov 1940|