Recordings by late rapper Tupac Shakur, comedian Bill Cosby and rock band REM are among the latest to be preserved by the US Library of Congress.
Shakur song Dear Mama, Cosby's comedy album I Started Out As A Child and REM's 1981 song Radio Free Europe will enter the National Recording Registry.
Records by Little Richard, Patti Smith and Willie Nelson are also included.
Each year, 25 works nominated by the public and a panel of experts are preserved for future generations.
Shakur's 1995 song Dear Mama was cited as a "moving and eloquent homage to both his own mother and all mothers struggling to maintain a family in the face of addiction, poverty and societal indifference".
Shakur, who was shot dead in 1996, becomes the third rap act to be inducted into the registry, following Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy.
REM were praised for setting "the pattern for later indie-rock releases by breaking through on college radio in the face of mainstream radio's general indifference".
Country star Nelson's 1975 album Red Headed Stranger is cited for its "uncommon elegance" while Canal Street Blues - recorded by King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band in 1923 - is included for epitomizing the sounds of New Orleans.
Other new additions include When You Wish Upon a Star, released in 1940 by Cliff Edwards, and a World War II recording of US forces in the second Battle of Guam.