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
A437 1950/6/617 Volegoff, Daniel 1950 - 1951
K26 MX40323 William WALKER [Regtl No. WX 5620 DOE 22/6/1940; DOD 23/11/1945] 1940 - 1995
A1838 1957/5/16/5 PART 1 [file title withheld] 1973 - 1974
A1533 1953/286 STAVRINIDES, Petros John [0.5cm] 1953 - 1966
A1838 189/11/52 PART 1 Pakistan Relations with USSR 1948 - 1957
D2952 PL45/79 Thevenard line - Application from Highways Department for temporary occupation crossing approximately 20km [20.173 exact] 1979 - 1979
D4082 WB421 Derek [ William ] Doble 1963 - 1963
B73 H96448 QUINN, Herbert Martin 1916 - 1956
PP911/1 MX27853 VOLUME 1 Edward Raymond Woods 1946 - 1963
MP341/1 1934/9546 Stamps Philatelic Exhibitions 1934 - 1934
A1838 1743/1/4 PART 6 Special Antarctic treaty - Consultative meeting - Canberra - Buenos Aires 1978 1978 - 1978
A12812 77 Inquiry into Puckkapunyal - W.R.A.C.S. accommodation - Originating papers, unnumbered submissions, briefing papers, Correspondence 27 May 1976 - 12 Oct 1976
D3185 173 Torrens Island Quarantine Station photograph 173 - [portion of title exempt] onset - rash 10 April 1926 - photo taken 11 April 1926 1926 - 1926
A10028 800/145 PART 1 China - bi-lateral relations - China - UK 1976 - 1978
B551 1942/27/2997 [Release of internees] 1942 - 1942
A1838 720/4/9 PART 48 Australian atomic energy - Non proliferation aspects of uranium enrichment 1982 - 1982
B741 V/4813 David Connolly or David Case 1928 - 1929
K403 W59/1429 PART 7 [Immigration Department] Aliens registration - general - annual notification under the Aliens Act 1971 - 1972
A1928 1181/35/10/2 VIC War. Emergency Civilian Medical Practitioners Service Return of Expenditure Queries regarding Accounts and Fees (Victoria. 1943 - 1946
A13883 112/1 PART 5 Singapore economic - commercial and industrial policies 31 Mar 1964 - 09 Aug 1965