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Collection Selections from the National Film Registry

About this Collection

The National Film Registry is a list of movies deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" that are earmarked for preservation by the Library of Congress. They are not selected as the "best" American films of all time, but rather as works of enduring importance to American culture. They reflect who we are as a people and as a nation. The Librarian of Congress makes the annual selections to the Registry after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public and conferring with Library film curators and the distinguished members of the National Film Preservation Board.

This digital collection presents a variety of Registry titles including the World War II documentary Memphis Belle (1944), Master Hands (1936), a beautiful mechanical ballet shot on a General Motors automotive assembly line, and a plea for racial tolerance from Frank Sinatra in ‚ÄčThe House I Live In (1945).

The majority of movies in Selections from the National Film Registry are freely available as both 5 mb MP4 and ProRes 422 MOV downloads.

Selections from the National Film Registry is a project of the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center. The goal of this digital collection is to present to the widest audience possible movies named to the Registry, offering a broad range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.

These selections are presented as part of the record of the past. They are historical documents which reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these movies, which may contain content offensive to users.