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
A8307 REGISTER 128 Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948-1973 - Register of Births, London - No 128 1979 - 1980
A1838 3107/40/147 PART 5 China - Foreign policy - Relations with India 1959 - 1959
A6122 1121/REFERENCE COPY Communist Party of Australia - Italian Club Victoria 1939 - 1955
AWM54 320/3/58 [Enemy Equipment - Types:] Japanese Demolition Clocks - Discovered on Luzon, during operations 1945 - 1945
A1946 1967/1459 Bombing and Shelling of North Vietnam Policy File 1967 - 1973
A12396 2 Royal Commission on Intelligence and Security - Inventory of Records - Part 3 (Details of Documents in Series HD1 and HD2) - Section 3.1 (A and AA documents from ASIO) 1977 - 1977
A9816 1944/482 Housing - Exchange of Information with USSR 1944 - 1945
C138 H51947 MILES, Alfred Herbert - Service Number - N93855 1991 - 1992
A3963 S1/1/1 Royal Commission on Petroleum. Ampol. 5.11.73 - 18.9.74 1973 - 1974
MP727/1 GP4/617 Police Prosecution arising from fraudulent claims for dependants allowance. 1943 - 1944
A3959 A3/6/2 Consultants A.D. Little (USA) Work Programme & Allied Matter. 1975 - 1976
C321 N1969/52701 Morrison, William Kenneth [Box 393] 1969 - 1979
A1838 1495/9/1 PART 2 Antarctica - Japanese interests [3cm] 1962 - 1969
A6135 K30/11/72/9 Aboriginal people and torres strait islander peoples - Relics - Entrance to Oenberna burial ground 1972 - 1972
E72 D6132/6 [Portion of Title Expunged] Stone, Robert Joseph Cecil - Stone, Patricia Gaye Rosina by Burton, Mr and Mrs W C 1957 - 1958
A467 SF42/30 [Communism] : Anonymous letter re communist members of the N.S.W. State Council of the Australian Railways Union. 09 May 1940 - 16 May 1940
F1 1972/6972 Aboriginal traditional sites - Finke (1:250000) - (88) 1972 - 1972
E72 D11899/2 [Portion of Title Expunged] McCall Dominic Sabina - Anderson Peter Noel and Dorothy 1962 - 1962
MP367/1 520/2/778 Case of Captain (Hon Major) CW Strong (AAVC [Australian Army Veterinary Corps] Permit) 1921 - 1922
C605 LA78 Headquarters staff, AWLA [Australian Women's Land Army] - Mrs T Spackman 1942 - 1943