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 141/2/1 PART 1 Spanish Sahara - Political - General 1975 - 1975
A2487 1922/15602 [Robert Joseph McGoldrick - Inquiry by wife regarding war gratuity] 1922 - 1922
B4794 CHERNIH, IVAN [Claim for Special Benefit - Ivan Chernih] 1963 - 1971
A1200 L61934 Aboriginal people and torres strait islander peoples - Archaeology - Skeleton of a 3 year Aboriginal child found in cave CATEGORY: Photograph PRINCIPAL CREDIT: Australian News and Information Bureau FORMAT: b&w negative TYPE: cellulose acetate STATUS: preservation material 1967 - 1967
A452 1971/3172 Provision of secure communications for internal use in Papua/New Guinea [7 pages] 1971 - 1972
A1838 553/1/86/10 PART 1 Cultural relations with China - Australia China Foundation 1976 - 1977
E72 D14253/4 [Portion of Title Expunged] Melinda May - Shephard M and E E 1963 - 1963
B337 680 Smith, Walter James 1962 - 1962
A1209 1962/936 PART 2 Indian/China border dispute 1962 - Aid for India 1962 - 1962
A432 1968/2197 Shooting of Yugoslav in Act - press reports of Ustashi activity 1968 - 1968
A1838 33/1/5/1 PART 3 Hungary UN Special Committee on Hungary 1957 - 1957
K279 1957/870/430 Transport and Construction - Perth Airport International Terminal Building - advice on lifts - consultants - Bayliss and Associates [Works/Construction] 1982 - 1983
B337 677 Smith, Norma 1961 - 1961
A6122 1031 Communist Party of Australia - campaigns to increase membership and gain public support 1949 - 1956
M1276 72 PART 2 [Personal Papers of Prime Minister Fraser] Detente [Australian Institute of International Affairs Conference papers, published material, speech notes] 01 Jan 1976 - 29 Aug 1976
A13373 B2 Briefing Papers - Information sought from Overseas Parliaments 30 Jul 1982 - 27 Oct 1982
A12836 8 Tasmanian Disabilities Inquiry - Reports 1930 - 1930
A1838 3127/11/180 PART 1 South Korea - Relations with foreign countries - Pacific Basin Community 1979 - 1982
C1748 ABORIGINES/L8606A TITLE: Reverse side of L8606 [tjuringas) CATEGORY: photograph PRINCIPAL CREDIT: photographer G Crib FORMAT: b&w print TYPE: silver gelatin STATUS: preservation material 01 Jan 1947 - 31 Dec 1947
K60 C28023 MARTIN , Edward Fowell - Service Number - N/A 1919 - 1955