How to Nominate Movies to the Library of Congress National Film Registry

The deadline for submissions from the public is September 15.

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The 1993 film Jurassic Park, which was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 2018.
The 1993 film Jurassic Park, which was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 2018.
Screenshot: Jurassic Park

Every year, the Library of Congress chooses 25 movies to single out for preservation as part of the National Film Registry. Last year the Library chose to recognize and preserve everything from classics like The Man With the Golden Arm (1955) and A Clockwork Orange (1971) to more recent films of the 21st century like Shrek (2001) and The Dark Knight (2008).

But did you know that the Library of Congress take suggestions from the public each year? The deadline for public nominations is coming up, but you still have time to make your voice heard.

The National Film Registry already has 800 movies that have been inducted since it started in 1989, and the Library of Congress keeps a very long list of films that have yet to be added, if you want some ideas. The deadline for public nominations is September 15, so you better get your list in quickly. The only limitation? Movies must have been released prior to 2011.

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“Public nominations play a key role when the Librarian and Film Board are considering their final selections,” the Library explains on its website.

“Registry criteria does not specifically prohibit television programs, commercials, music videos or foreign productions, however, the original intent of the legislation that established the Registry was to safeguard U.S. films. Consequently the National Film Preservation Board and the Librarian of Congress give first consideration to American motion pictures,” the Library explains.

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Anyone can submit their picks via online form, though you’re limited to nominating 50 films per year. Please don’t spam the mailbox with hundreds of entries since this is all in good fun.

“The Registry is intended to reflect American society and the rich tapestry of American cinema since its inceptions around 1890. To that end, we strongly encourage the nomination of the full-range of American film-making: not just Hollywood classics or other well-known works, but also silent era titles, documentaries, avant-garde, educational and industrial films, as well as films representing the vibrant unmatched diversity of American culture, both in terms of content and all those who created these snapshots of America society: directors, writers, actors and actresses, cinematographers, and other crafts,” the Library says.

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If you’d prefer snail mail for some reason—perhaps an elderly relative doesn’t have email and would like to participate—entries can also be sent by way of regular U.S. mail:

National Film Registry
Library of Congress
Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation
19053 Mt. Pony Road
Culpeper, VA 22701

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What films do you think should be added to the National Film Registry this year? Let us know in the comments and then submit your own ideas to the Library of Congress. Just make sure you get your submissions in before September 15 if you want them to be considered this year.