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
CP548/1 D303 Tasmanian Whole Milk Subsidy (after Sept. 48) 1948 - 1948
D363 H17666 PART 4 JOHNSTON, Maxwell Glen - Service Number - 26925 1988 - 1993
PP681/1 MKM34681 WYATT, Arthur - Service Number - 4251, A31257 1939 - 1978
C3241 MP4038 Cessnock - Clearance of Letters Receivers [mail porterage files] [box 187] 1972 - 1978
B441 65/90 PART5 Research - WMO [World Meteorological Organization] Weather Modification Programme - Precipitation Enhancement Project 1979 - 1981
A13147 NSR 144 National Security Act Regulations & Ordinances - National Security (Universities Commission ) Regulations. Orders under Regulation 6A 23 Feb 1944 - 13 Aug 1945
A1838 766/2 PART 16 Communist China - Reports on Economic Development 1970 - 1970
A2487 1922/14544 [James Claude McGrath - Service Number 2114 - Application for medical treatment] 1922 - 1922
A10872 100/1/6/2 Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) - Director [modified title, original title partially exempt] 1957 - 1960
A1838 317/1/2 PART 11 Solomon Islands - Political - General 1982 - 1982
A1209 1959/870 Trials of air to air weapon - Red top 1959 - 1959
A7322 56 General administrative files - Defence Sub-Committee - Briefing papers - Defence force structure - strategic assessments 10 Jun 1980 - 01 Jun 1982
A2031 243/1947 243/1947 : Exchange of secret information between Australia and the United States : Agendum Number 17/1947 : Date of meeting - 22 July 1947 1947 - 1947
A1209 1958/5718 [Portion of title exempt] JIB [Joint Intelligence Bureau] report 1954 [113pp] 1954 - 1954
A446 1967/32853 O'Neill, Thomas [and family - repatriation to Ireland] 1963 - 1968
A6122 503 Communist Party of Australia - Branches Victoria St. Kilda Branch Volume 1 1949 - 1949
A1838 720/5/7 PART 12 Atomic energy - Australia - Relations with India 1983 - 1984
A1209 1981/337 PART 3 Sinai peacekeeping force 1981 - 1981
PP913/1 HX57796 William Joseph Sheridan 1927 - 1955
B26 MX214975 PART 1 Register, Norman Alan 1942 - 1993