The National Film Registry (NFR) is the United States National Film Preservation Board's (NFPB) selection of films which are believed to be deserving of preservation. The NFPB, established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, was reauthorized by acts of Congress in 1992, 1996, 2005, and again in October 2008. The NFPB's mission, to which the NFR contributes, is to ensure the survival, conservation, and increased public availability of America's film heritage. The 1996 law also created the non-profit National Film Preservation Foundation which, although affiliated with the NFPB, raises money from the private sector.


The NFPB adds to the NFR up to 25 "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films" each year, showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation. A film becomes eligible for inclusion ten years after its original release. For the first selection in 1989, the public nominated almost 1,000 films for consideration. Members of the NFPB then developed individual ballots of possible films for inclusion. The ballots were tabulated into a list of 25 films which was then modified by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and his staff at the Library for the final selection. Since 1997, members of the public have been able to nominate up to 50 films a year for the NFPB and Librarian to consider. The NFR includes films ranging from Hollywood classics to orphan films. A film is not required to be feature-length, nor is it required to have been theatrically released in the traditional sense. The Registry contains newsreels, silent films, student films, experimental films, short films, music videos, films out of copyright protection or in the public domain, film serials, home movies, documentaries, animation, and independent films. As of the 2020 listing, there are 800 films in the Registry.



*± Indicates that the film's soundtrack or a significant piece of music featured in the film is also a National Recording Registry inductee.

Number of films by release year

This table is through the 2020 induction list (800 films total). For purposes of this list, multi-year serials are counted only once (as they are in the Registry) by year of completion.

Age of Registry selections

The oldest film currently in the registry, ''Newark Athlete'', was released in 1891, while the most recent, ''Freedom Riders'', was released in 2010.

Span from release to selection

Released on January 9, 1894 and selected in October 2015, ''Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze'' has the longest span, at 121 years, while ''Raging Bull'', released theatrically in the United States on December 19, 1980 and inducted in October 1990, holds the record for the shortest span, having been inducted slightly shy of the 10-year minimum. Currently, only six other films have been inducted at the 10-year mark: ''Do the Right Thing'', ''Goodfellas'', ''Toy Story'', ''Fargo'', ''13 Lakes'', and ''Freedom Riders''.'The Dark Knight,' 'A Clockwork Orange' and 'The Joy Luck Club' Enter National Film Registry|Hollywood Reporter

See also

* :Category:United States National Film Registry films * National Recording Registry * ''These Amazing Shadows'', a 2011 documentary film that tells the history and importance of the registry


External links

National Film Registry homepage

Classic Movie Hub: National Film Registry List

''These Amazing Shadows''
site for Independent Lens on PBS {{featured list Category:1988 establishments in the United States Category:1988 in American cinema Category:Cultural infrastructure completed in 1988 Category:Cinema of the United States Category:Film archives in the United States Category:History of film Category:Library of Congress Category:Reference material lists Category:Film preservation Category:Mass media companies