U2's Joshua Tree to be preserved
The selections for the National Recording Registry include seminal sounds of the 20th century, chosen for their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance.
Highlights also include Creedence Clearwater Revival's Fortunate Son and the Everly Brothers' Cathy's Clown.
U2's 1987 album, with hits like Where The Streets Have No Name and With Or Without You, was chosen after the library received many public nominations. Its inclusion coincides with the addition of Larry Norman's Christian 1972 album Only Visiting This Planet.
Curator Matthew Barton said U2's sound, though not explicitly religious, has influenced and been combined with Christian rock in some churches, including the song, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.
Ronstadt, whose hits include You're No Good and When Will I Be Loved, is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10. In an interview, she said she didn't think about making a hit album with Heart Like A Wheel and was naive about the business of music.
"In retrospect, I don't think I realised it at the time how precarious my situation was in terms of my career where if I hadn't had a success with that particular record, I think it would have been game over," she said.
Ronstadt said she was surprised to learn the album had been selected for safekeeping at the library, but that it was nice to have a distinction.
"I just wish I had done a little better job singing," she said. "If I listened to that record now, it would probably kill me. I never listen to my own stuff."