Rocker Jack White has donated $200,000 (£133,330) to the new National Recording Preservation Foundation to ensure the safekeeping of America's historical archives.

The former White Stripes frontman sits on the board of directors for the independent organisation, which was established by U.S. Congress officials in 2011 in the hope of supporting institutions which preserve and maintain old recordings, and his monetary gift will be used to officially launch the project.

Executive director Gerald Seligman tells, "(It) is our first (donation) and therefore provides the welcome opportunity to go from talking about the needs and priorities of audio preservation to concerted action. With this contribution we can now put up our basic structure, begin enacting the preservation plan - and give out our first grants. We're committed to doing that right away, and certainly within the coming months."

Sam Brylawski, the chairman of the National Recording Preservation Board, is now hoping others will be inspired by White's generosity and do the same.

He says, "(I hope White's) extraordinarily generous donation inspires many others, especially those in the recording business - record companies, artists, songwriters, and others - to follow his lead to help ensure that we are able to preserve and make accessible recent and historical recordings at risk of loss."

It's not the first time the rocker has opened his cheque book for a worthy cause - in May (13), the musician saved the historic Detroit Masonic Temple in Michigan by quietly paying off an outstanding $142,000 (£94,667) tax bill.