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
A1838 720/5/22 PART 9 Atomic energy - Australia - Relations with China 1984 - 1985
M3357 REPORT 1 Review of Australia's defence exports and defence industry - Vol.1 - copy 12 of 12 1986 - 1986
B922 V1965/66505 PART 4 Italian criminal society in Australia 1969 - 1981
A1838 316/1/6 PART 14 Fiji - Administration - Political - General 1981 - 1982
A13147 NSR 80 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Maritime Industry) Regulations. Order No 1, 3-19, 21, 23-36, 38-40, 42, 43, 45, 46, 48-51, 54-58, 61 14 Jan 1942 - 09 Apr 1947
A1838 189/2/6/4 PART 4 Pakistan States - East Pakistan 1970 - 1971
C4076 HN16105B Wingham post office, 1983 [photographic image]: [front view with cars in front of building]. 1 photographic negative (2 of 4 images), colour; 35mm, on film strip 1983 - 1983
A9414 1968/4201 TO 1969/412 File Registers for Prime Minister's Department series A463 and A1209 [file numbersfor 1969 are incomplete] 1968 - 1969
A1838 3000/2/12 PART 8 Indo China - Relations between Laos, Kampuchea, Vietnam 1983 - 1984
CP698/2 BUNDLE 1 No title 01 Jan 1800 - 01 Jan 1800
PP946/1 HKM33968 CASSIDY, James Robert Mcgowan - Service Number - WX11323 1955 - 1979
A518 P112/6/3 Notes on supplies of phosphates for London Conference 1955 - 1955
C139 MX128989 PART 2 Kenneth Bruce PETTET [Repatriation medical file] [Box 4962] 1945 - 1967
MP273/1 1927/381 Mr. G. N. Rogers, Lineman, applies for an advance to purchase a dental plate 1927 - 1927
A11235 55 Senate Journals - 55th Session of Parliament - Volume containing Journal No. 1 (28 February 1974) to Journal No. 16 (19 April 1974) together with Sessional Papers 1974 - 1974
A705 55/1/764 Recommendations from NE Area for Immediate and Periodical operational awards quarter ending 31/3/45 1945 - 1945
B73 H56198 MACNEIL, Alexander Rowan - Service Number - VX39150 1915 - 1952
A7326 BJ801/13/2 Part 6 China - Political and General - relations with Hong Kong 17 Aug 1982 - 31 Dec 1982
K26 MX51932 Sydney Wallam 1942 - 1986
A1533 1968/1593 Sinking of MV Wahine New Zealand 1968 - 1968