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
A432 1987/8170 ASIO Amendment Bill 1986 - Inspector General of Intelligence and Security Bill 1986 - Intelligence and Security (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1986 1985 - 1986
C138 HB3475 BIRCH, Florence Mary beneficiary of BIRCH, Herbert Edwin - Service Number - 117 1988 - 1993
M4797 15 Correspondence 03 Sep 1979 - 24 Dec 1979
PP946/1 MKM34402 BLACKETT, Michael - Service Number - DNR 36410 1948 - 1988
AWM54 179/1/6 [Chemical Warfare - General:] Chemical Warfare Information Bulletins - Nos 1,2,3 and 9 1943 - 1943
A1533 1968/1947 PART 1 Attorney-General's Canberra - Suspected collusive tendering - [part of title exempted] 1964 - 1969
A4243 40 Marine Board of Devonport 1974 - 1976
K273 1977/145 PART 2 SHC [State Housing Commission] acquisition of houses - policy [property, works] [Original papers have been transfered to 1984/766. Original file cover is missing, for more info, see 1977/145 part 1] 1988 - 1988
A10800 D3 Kakadu National Park bird check list (poster hard copy) 1975 - 1996
PP889/1 M6823 William Bazeley 1916 - 1972
K26 HX4294 Basil Anthony Vlachou 1951 - 1990
A1200 L2358 Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander peoples - Implements and weapons - Kurdaitcha [Kadaitcha] shoes and bullroarer (centre) (Nama Twinna) used by Arunta Tribe from Macdonnell Ranges 1945 - 1945
A1838 3127/2/1/2 PART 5 South Korea - Political - United Kingdom Fortnightly Summary of Events 1968 - 1970
MP129/1 1942/2014 War Organization Combined Met Committee 1942 - 1943
A7363 1 Submission List 23 Feb 1972 - 08 Jul 1973
A9737 1990/1314 PART 1 French nuclear testing 27 Feb 1973 - 15 Mar 1995
A3092 221/11/6 PART 5B Netherlands New Guinea 27 Sep 1961 - 31 Oct 1961
A12812 42 Inquiry into Windsor telephone exchange, Victoria - Statement of evidence, originating papers, correspondence, unnumbered submissions, briefing papers, final report, tabling details, approval of work 12 Apr 1973 - 30 May 1973
A6122 1094 Communist Party of Australia - Tasmania - illegal apparatus 1949 - 1956
A6135 K7/3/84/301 Aboriginal people and torres strait islander peoples - Dance - Corroboree at Ayers Rock 1984 - 1984