Access conditions over records held by State Records are set by the agency responsible for the records.

Conditions reflect the sensitivity or level of personal information contained in a record, offering protection from general public access.

Access restrictions and responsible agencies can be identified through the catalogue ArchivesSearch.

  • Records containing low level personal information, such as school attendance will usually be restricted from general public access for 30 years.
  • Records containing more sensitive personal information, or material that is commercially confidential, might be restricted for 60, 80 or 100 years.

For more detailed information on how agencies determine access conditions, refer to the Public Access Determinations Guideline.

To apply for access to restricted records

If you have a need to access the records before they become available for general public access, you may apply to the agency responsible for the records.

  1. ArchivesSearch shows the agency responsible for the series which contains the records, and the period of restriction specified in the access determination.
  2. Contact the agency responsible for the records to either:

Which records require permission to access?

These record types require permission to access, and contact details for agencies responsible for the records.

Adoption records

Records relating to adoptions are restricted from general public access.

This is to protect the privacy of the individuals involved but does not prevent you from applying to access your own records.

To request permission to access a restricted record about either yourself or a family member, contact Department for Child Protection, Past Adoption Services.

Find and Connect may also be of interest to Forgotten Australians and British Child Migrants separated by adoption.

Care leavers and fostering records

Records relating to children in care are restricted from general public access for 100 years.

This is to protect the privacy of the individuals involved but does not prevent you from applying to access your own records.

To request permission to access a restricted record about yourself or a family member,
and for information about support services for care leavers, contact the Department for Child Protection.

If you are applying for information on an ancestor the Department for Child Protection prefers to process requests for access made using their Freedom of Information Application Form.

You may also phone (08) 8226 4399 or email DCP.FOI@sa.gov.au.

McBride Maternity Hospital (Adelaide Maternity Home) records

Although State Records holds the records of McBride Maternity Hospital, the records are not open for general public access.

This is to prevent unauthorised access to entries which relate to cases under the Adoption Act,
this does not prevent access by a person who has a specific right to know the information. Not all babies born at the Home were adopted.

Apply to Department for Child Protection for permission to access information in these records.

The Department for Child Protection prefers to process requests for access made using their Freedom of Information Application Form.

Court records

Many court records are restricted from general public access for 100 years, reflecting conditions applied in the legislation establishing the courts.

This is to protect the privacy of the individuals involved but does not prevent you from applying to access your own records.

If you wish to access restricted records, apply to the Registrar of the relevant court. 

If the Court provides you with written permission to view or copy a restricted record, please forward a copy to us and we can advise on how to order and view the record.

Supreme Court

The Registrar
Supreme Court
1 Gouger St, Adelaide SA 5001
Ph: (08) 8204 0289
Email: supreme.registry@courts.sa.gov.au or criminal.registry@courts.sa.gov.au

Coroner’s Court

The Registrar
Coroner’s Office
302 King William St. Adelaide SA 5001
Phone: (08) 8204 0600
Email: coroner@courts.sa.gov.au

Magistrate’s Court (responsible for Magistrates, District, Local or Police Court records)

The Registrar
Magistrate’s Court of South Australia
PO Box 6115
Halifax Street SA 5000
Phone: (08) 8204 2444
Email: AMCregistry@courts.sa.gov.au

Gaol and prisoner records

Records containing personal information about prisoners are usually restricted from general public access for 100 years.

This does not necessarily prevent access by a person who has a specific right to know the information contained.

The Department for Correctional Services prefers to process requests for access by using the Freedom of Information Application Form.

Complete the form and submit it to:

Freedom of Information, Department for Correctional Services
GPO Box 1747 Adelaide 5001
400 King William St Adelaide 5000
Email: dcs@sa.gov.au 

Hospital records

Records containing personal medical information are generally restricted from general public access for at least 60 years.

This does not prevent access by a person who has a specific right to know the information.

Apply in writing directly to the Hospital, or to SA Health for permission to access information in these records.

The Freedom of Information Officer, SA Health
PO Box 287 Rundle Mall, Adelaide SA 5000
Telephone: (08) 8226 0705

Queen Victoria Hospital, Adelaide Children's Hospital, Women's and Children's Hospital or Estcourt House records

The Freedom of Information Officer, Women's and Children's Hospital
72 King William Road, North Adelaide SA 5006
Phone:  (08) 8161 8145 or (08) 8161 6127
Email: cywhsfoiofficer@health.sa.gov.au
Website: http://www.wch.sa.gov.au/about/foi/foi.html

Glenside Hospital (and previous mental health hospital records)

Records that provide the personal information of patients with mental health conditions are usually restricted from general public access for 100 years.

This does not prevent access by a person who has a specific right to know the information.

The Glenside Hospital prefers to process requests for access by using a Freedom of Information Application form.

If you are seeking records about a relative, you may need to include evidence of your relationship to that person such as copies of birth, death or marriage records.

Complete the form and submit it to:

The Records Manager, Glenside Hospital
226 Fullarton Road, Glenside SA 5065
Phone: 08 7087 1000

School and teacher records

Records providing the personal information of students are restricted from general public access for 30 years.

Records providing the personal information of teachers are restricted from general public access for 60 years.

This does not prevent access by a person who has a specific right to know the information.

To request access to a restricted record, contact the Department for Education:

Department for Education
Records Management Services Unit
GPO Box 1152
Adelaide SA 5001
Phone: (08) 8226 1226
Email: Education.Records@sa.gov.au
Website: www.education.sa.gov.au