The National Recording Registry
is a list of sound recordings that "are culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States." The registry was established by the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, which created the National Recording Preservation Board
, whose members are appointed by the Librarian of Congress
Fifty recordings were added to the registry in the first four years (2002-2005). The 2006 registry was 25 recordings.
In late 2006, National Public Radio broadcast a five-part series of programs spotlighting selections from the 2005 Registry.
The criteria for selection are as follows:
- Recordings selected for the National Recording Registry are those that are culturally, historically or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States.
- For the purposes of recording selection, "sound recordings" are defined as works that result from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, but not including the sound component of a moving image work, unless it is available as an autonomous sound recording or is the only extant component of the work.
- Recordings may be a single item or group of related items; published or unpublished; and may contain music, non-music, spoken word, or broadcast sound.
- Recordings will not be considered for inclusion into the National Recording Registry if no copy of the recording exists.
- No recording should be denied inclusion into the National Recording Registry because that recording has already been preserved.
- No recording is eligible for inclusion into the National Recording Registry until ten years after the recording's creation.