News Article

Steven Spielberg to Receive Foundation for the National Archives’ 2013 Records of Achievement Award

September 18, 2013

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

Presented by the National Archives’ private partner, 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. Previous recipients of the Foundation’s awards include: Tom Brokaw, Ken Burns, the late John Hope Franklin, Annette Gordon-Reed, Brian Lamb and C-SPAN, Jacqueline Badger Mars, David McCullough, James McPherson, and David M. Rubenstein.

Mr. Spielberg, a three-time Academy Award® winner, will be recognized for his contributions as director of such historical films as Lincoln, Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, and Schindler’s List. He also will be 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 will receive the award at the Foundation’s annual Gala at the National Archives in Washington, DC, on November 19—the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, a past recipient of the award, will chair the event.

“It is hard to even fully comprehend the enormous contribution Steven Spielberg has made to our culture and the world of cinema. One of the greatest filmmakers of all time, he has not only awakened our interest in our universe and our future, he has consistently, with great artistry, enlightened audiences about our complicated past,” said Burns, a vice president on the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “He has fearlessly and with great emotional force brought to life the central events and themes of American history—from the issues of slavery and race to presidential leadership to the extraordinary bravery of so-called ‘ordinary’ Americans in France in 1944. We are thrilled to honor his passion and his remarkable storytelling with this award.”

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, who will join Foundation President A’Lelia Bundles to present the award, said, “I’m pleased to welcome Steven Spielberg to the National Archives as we celebrate our unique public-private partnership with the Foundation. Steven’s filmmaking has made history accessible to so many people and we are proud to note that research into the records of the National Archives informs his work.”

Leading up to this year’s Gala and award ceremony, the National Archives and its Foundation will host a free public film festival showcasing a selection of Spielberg films, including Amistad (1997), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Lincoln (2012), and Saving Private Ryan (1998). The festival will run November 15-18 at the Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater.

The Foundation’s Gala is made possible by the generous support of AT&T, the Maris S. Cuneo Foundation, Governor Jim Blanchard and Janet Blanchard, and Marvin F. Weissberg.


About Steven Spielberg

Considered one of our country’s most influential filmmakers, Steven Spielberg is a principal partner of DreamWorks Studios and a three-time Academy Award® winner. Spielberg took home his first two Oscars® in 1993, for Best Director and Best Picture, for Schindler’s List, followed by a third award in 1999 for his direction of the World War II epic Saving Private Ryan. He has also garnered Academy Award® nominations for Best Director for Munich, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and most recently for Lincoln, which traces the President’s fight during the height of the Civil War to pass the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.

Moved by the experience of directing the Holocaust drama Schindler’s List, Spielberg donated his profits to establish the Righteous Persons Foundation, an organization dedicated to strengthening Jewish identity and community in the United States. He also founded Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation—now the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education—which preserves video testimonies from survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust.