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
PP645/1 MKM38788 MARKS, William Beresford Moffitt - Service Number - N/A 1925 - 1977
K26 MX35859 William Roy Singe 1916 - 1984
A13147 NSR 318 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Man Power) Regulations. Man Power (Local Appeal Boards) Order. Regulation 16B 03 Aug 1943 - 03 Aug 1943
A1533 1959/251 RYAN, B J 1958 - 1959
C605 LA356 Accident not at present covered by Workers Compensation 1943 - 1943
B26 MX26851 PART 1 WARREN, Gordon George 1940 - 1988
A7452 A56 PART 3 Australian defector policy 1981 - 1990
MP5/21 11 Registered Traders 1947 - 1948
A1838 3107/38/28 PART 1 China - Relations with Australia - ONA papers 1979 - 1985
PP637/1 MX55220 VOLUME 1 William Bruce Bailey 1945 - 1961
A432 1930/2207 FCT [Federal Capital Territory]. First sale of City area leases. Promise re financial assistance 1930 - 1930
A10028 225/2 PART 1 China/United States Relations (General) 1973 - 1973
A601 441/2/11 Australian Agricultural Council 5th Meeting 1937 - 1937
A1838 250/9/10/1 United States of America - Relations with Australia - Australian visitors to United States of America - Security questions 1951 - 1965
A1533 1955/4343 Brian Charles DONNELLY 1955 - 1955
A9737 1992/60191 Part 1 DPRK - Human Rights 10 Jul 1985 - 18 Apr 1994
A1209 1958/5436 PART 1 Hungary - Further United Nations action 1958 1958 - 1958
A1838 3024/3/6/1 PART 3 Singapore - Information - Press 1965 - 1971
A1928 715/63 SECTION 2 Northern Territory. Veterninary Officers. Section 2 1946 - 1960
C138 HB71663 PART 2 BLACKBERRY, Annie beneficiary of BLACKBERRY, Roy James - Service Number - 1950 1988 - 1992