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
C139 CX5118 PART 1 Ernest Maxwell SAWYER [Repatriation pension file] [Box A6283] 1945 - 1975
D363 MB9249 PART 1 PREECE, Phyllis beneficiary of PREECE, Roy Garnett - Service Number - 49 1988 - 1996
B44 V1976/2609 CARRARINI, Socrate 1975 - 1976
A6122 864 Communist Party of Australia - Western Australia, Freemantle branch. 1949 - 1956
A13883 202/2 PART 3 Singapore constitution - progress talks - London - 1956 26 May 1956 - 24 Sep 1956
A1838 1558/1/44 PART 50 International Court of Justice - Advisory opinions French Nuclear tests Australia vs France 1974 - 1974
A452 1967/1584 Joint Planning Committee - Study of Defence implications, Nauru in the event of self-determinatin [0.5cm] 1967 - 1967
AWM239 83 RAN Medical Officers' Journal: FRANKLIN (1 January 1922 - 7 July 1930) 1922 - 1930
D4082 AO461 John Murray 1973 - 1973
A13147 NSR 213 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Reg 4 (AL.1); Reg 6 (AL.2); Reg 35 (AL.3); Reg 39 (AL.4); Reg 54 (AL.5-74); Reg 55 (AL 75-84) 17 Dec 1941 - 17 Feb 1942
A3963 S4/10 Govt. of West Australia 1974 - 1976
A12812 39 Inquiry into Wellington telephone exchange, Perth - Statement of evidence, originating papers, correspondence, unnumbered submissions, briefing papers, final report, tabling details 14 Mar 1973 - 23 Aug 1973
A13014 F.1.3 Follow-up on Committee Reports - A year's Experience 27 Oct 1977 - 22 Feb 1979
A1838 699/9/4 PART 4 Defence - Cooperation with Fiji 1979 - 1980
A432 1931/1109 Estate Duty Assessment Act 1914-28. Estate of late Annie E. Hargraves 1931 - 1931
A703 662/3/43 PT1 unknown 1961 - 1968
PP22/1 RX13489 Milton Henry GRAY WX11380 1946 - 1946
A1838 1490/17/5 PART 7 Legal aspects of Papua New Guinea independence - Defence 1976 - 1978
A1928 195/263 Conferences & Congresses Fourth International Congress on Tropical Medicine. April, 1948 1947 - 1949
A1945 248/7/34 Country study of Indonesia 1959 - 1959