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 697/8/5/6 PART 1 Defence - Indian Ocean - Zone of peace - United Nations ad hoc committee on Indian Ocean 1982 - 1983
A518 852/1/85 New Guinea - Staff - J Ward; Assistant Warden [1cm] 1927 - 1929
A1838 3107/40/147 PART 12 China - Relations with India 1962 - 1962
A1928 1181/62 SECTION 2 War Emergency Civil Medical Practitioners service overseas travelling fellowships. General. Section 2. 1945 - 1947
B741 V/11494 Alice Morgan 1933 - 1937
C4076 HN6205 Morisset Post Office 1985 - 1985
A452 1962/4173 Entry of Asians into Papua and New Guinea - Mr B F Hsu and Mr S Y Lai - Members of Chinese communist trade delegation 1962 - 1962
C138 HB11004 REGAN, Ivy H beneficiary of REGAN, Sydney John - Service Number - 6118 1990 - 1992
A9737 1990/5398 PART 3 Fiji coup 21 May 1987 - 25 May 1987
C138 M68867 Hector Joseph MOOD [Repatriation medical case file] [Box 16386] 1953 - 1974
MP529/2 LUTTERBY/HFW Dossier of Lutterby, Henry Frederick William [Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm] - Dossier No. 1417 1939 - 1940
A13147 NSR 331 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Man Power) Regulations. Declaration of Protected Undertakings. Regulation 5 05 Jan 1944 - 28 Apr 1944
A1838 3107/2/10/1 PART 3 China - Political - United States State Department or other Despatches - Annual - Semi-Annual Correspondence Only 1972 - 1973
A7452 A35 National Intelligence Committee Standing Group on intelligence priorities 1974 - 1977
A2487 1922/10355 [Medical survey sheet and particulars of pay - W R Birch] 1922 - 1922
PP18/1 RKM32132 READ, Graham Lawson - Service Number - 5/1209 1949 - 1950
A13147 NSR 161 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (General) Regulations. Control of Cordage Cotton Order. Control of Imported Spun Cotton Order. Control of Cotton Materials Order. Regulation 59 19 Dec 1941 - 13 Mar 1942
D2952 PL44/1980 Lock - Extension to siding [Drawing of proposed siding extension at Lock - Scale 1:480] 1980 - 1981
K60 MKM32015 WEARNE, Leonard Allen - Service Number - WX500381 1946 - 1984
A7452 A122 Royal Commission on intelligence and security [RCIS] request for information 1947 - 1977