Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has made his annual selection of 50 sound recordings for the National Recording Registry. Under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Librarian is responsible for annually selecting recordings that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." Registry recordings must be at least 10 years old. In announcing the registry, the Librarian said, "Once again, we have the opportunity to celebrate the rich variety of music recorded in the United States and the importance of sound recording in our lives."
The National Recording Registry was created by the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, legislation that promotes and supports audio preservation. The registry celebrates the richness and variety of the nation's audio legacy and underscores the responsibility to assure the long-term preservation of that legacy for future generations.
Nominations for the registry were gathered from members of the public, who submitted suggestions online (www.loc.gov/nrpb), and from the National Recording Preservation Board, which comprises leaders in the fields of music, recorded sound and preservation. The board also assisted the Librarian with the review of nominations.
The new additions to the registry honor a wide variety of outstanding spoken and musical recordings. Among the selections is the sound recording of one of 20th century's greatest scientific achievements -- the landing on the moon - which was beamed into homes throughout the world.
The Library is identifying and preserving the best existing versions of the recordings on the registry. These efforts have received support from record companies and archives. Sony BMG, in particular, is assisting the national preservation program by locating the best surviving elements of its recordings and duplicating them at no cost to the Library, ensuring that the best existing versions are added to the National Recording Registry Collection at the Library of Congress.
The Library is currently accepting nominations for the 2005 National Recording Registry at the National Recording Preservation Board Web site, www.loc.gov/nrpb. The deadline for public nominations is July 1, 2005.
45. Remarks from Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong's broadcast from the moon (1969)
The landing of Apollo 11 on the moon had the world glued to the television, yet the best remembered recollections of the achievement are aural: "Houston. Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed.... I'm going to step off the LEM now. That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." These words, first broadcast from the moon, have become some of the most recognizable and memorable sentences spoken in American history.