How do I nominate a recording to the National Recording Registry?
Everyone is welcome to submit nominations to the National Recording Registry. Nominations are forwarded to the Librarian of Congress and the National Recording Preservation Board for their consideration.
Individuals may submit up to fifty Registry nominations per year. Please include in your nomination as much information about the recording as possible. All nominations should include the recording artist(s), title, and record label name/number for published recordings or a brief but specific description for unpublished and broadcast recordings.
Nominations should include a compelling justification that explains the cultural, historical and/or aesthetic significance of the recording(s).
All recordings selected by the Librarian of Congress for inclusion in the Registry will be listed in the Federal Register, as required by law.
Due to the number of submissions anticipated, nominations will not be acknowledged.
We are continuously accepting nominations to the National Recording Registry. For each year's Registry we accept public nominations up to the date we can comfortably compile the results for the National Recording Preservation Board. As this date varies from year to year, nominations which come in after that date are rolled over to the next year.
Nominations must meet the Recording Registry Selection Criteria.
The following criteria for the selection of recordings into the National Recording Registry are intended to be read broadly, so that as many recordings as possible will be eligible. Nominations will be referred to the National Recording Preservation Board and, ultimately, the Librarian of Congress, for selection.
- 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- Recordings may be a single item or group of related items; published or unpublished; and may contain music, non-music, spoken word, or broadcast sound.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.
Additional Ways to Contact Us
Send written correspondence to:
Recorded Sound Reference Center
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, D.C. 20540-4690
We cannot provide lists of recordings in the public domain, perform copyright searches, provide extensive research including compiling discographies, provide language instruction tapes or books on tape for the visually disabled (see NLS), and/or offer appraisals.
Copyright Note: due to copyright restrictions the vast majority of sound recordings are not available online nor will they enter the public domain until the year 2067.