Achievement and Heritage Awards

2013 Honoree: Steven Spielberg

Spielberg, Steven_1_#CB2356The Foundation for the National Archives awarded Director Steven Spielberg the 2013 Records of Achievement Award November 19 in recognition of his film legacy, which has brought to life defining moments of our nation’s history.

The Records of Achievement Award is a tribute to an individual whose work has fostered a broader national awareness of the history and identity of the United States through the use of original records, including those preserved and protected for future generations by the National Archives.

Mr. Spielberg, a three-time Academy Award® winner, was recognized for his contributions as director of such historical films as Lincoln, Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, and Schindler’s List. He also was honored for his work in creating what has become the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, which is dedicated to making audio-visual interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides into a compelling voice for education and action.

Mr. Spielberg received the award at the Foundation’s annual Gala at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, on November 19—the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Documentary filmmaker and Foundation Vice President Ken Burns, a past recipient of the award, chaired the private event.

Foundation Chair A’Lelia Bundles, Executive Director Patrick M. Madden, and Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero presented the award during a formal ceremony in the National Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater. The black-tie event was followed by a dinner in the Rotunda Galleries, near the original, official Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.

Leading up to the Gala, the National Archives and its Foundation, in association with DreamWorks, hosted a public Steven Spielberg Film Festival November 15-18. The free film screenings of Saving Private Ryan, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Amistad, and Lincoln, took place in the Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater.

The accomplishments of the Foundation’s Records of Achievement Award honorees reflect our mission: to elevate the stories found in the billions of documents, photographs, maps, films, and recordings in the National Archives’ holdings in a manner that fosters a fuller understanding of the American experience. Recipients of the award help inspire a deeper appreciation of the country, its democratic ideals, and the rich heritage of its people.

The 2013 Gala and Records of Achievement Award Ceremony were made possible by AT&T and the generous support of the Maris S. Cuneo Foundation, Governor Jim Blanchard and Janet Blanchard, and Marvin F. Weissberg.

To inquire about sponsorship of the 2014 Gala and Award Ceremony, contact Jordan Zappala, Manager of Institutional Giving.

Past Recipients:
  • David M. Rubenstein (2011)
  • Ken Burns (2010)
  • Annette Gordon-Reed (2009)
  • James McPherson (2008)
  • John Hope Franklin (2007)
  • Brian P. Lamb and C-SPAN (2006)
  • Tom Brokaw (2005)
  • David McCullough (2004)
Heritage Award

In addition to the Records of Achievement Award, the Foundation also recognizes individuals, corporations, and organizations whose deeds are consistent with our mission. The Foundation’s Heritage Award, which takes its name from the “Heritage” sculpture outside the National Archives Building, was presented in 2012 to philanthropist Jacqueline Badger Mars.