Guide to the The Shamrock Bar: Photographs and Interviews by Carol Burch-Brown
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0857
Creators:
Burch-Brown, Carol
Dates:
1997-2003
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1 Cubic foot
2 boxes
Repository:
The collection documents a working class "gay" bar, the Shamrock Bar, Bluefield, West Virginia, 1997-2000, through photographs and oral history interviews.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of Carol Burch-Brown's photographs (200 photoprints, mostly silver gelatin on fiber-base paper, but including more than a dozen digital prints), copies of tape-recorded interviews (on 26 compact discs), and transcripts of interviews (3 volumes plus a compact disc containing Word files) made at the Shamrock Bar, Bluefield, West Virginia, 1997-2002, documenting a working-class gay bar. The photographs include "drag" performances, pageants, and other activities at the bar. Many show performers applying makeup and donning costumes, including the use of prosthetic breasts. Pictures taken in the bar are often in a soft-focus, slightly blurred, high-contrast, impressionistic style. There are a number of sharp-focus portraits, however, and exterior views of the building, its neighborhood, and the town are sharply focused, detailed documentary images.
Names (usually pseudonyms or stage names) which turn up in the interviews include: Natasha Michaels, Nikki Eaves, Shea West, Cortney Collins, Taylor Made, India Dream, Clinton, Tiffany Aver, Terba Devero, Roxie Morehead, and Dorothy. The performer "Bunny" is actually the photographer's friend and colleague, Ann Kilkelly. Many of these persons are also shown in the photographs, as is Helen Compton.
Note: The audio compact disks are not original recordings, and may be played by researchers directly.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is divided into three series.
Series 1: Photoprints
Series 2: Text (including transcripts of interviews)
Series 3: Compact discs

Biography
Biography
Carol Burch-Brown is Professor of Art and Humanities at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, and is a photographer, painter, and musician. Photographer and co-author with David Rigsbee, Trailers, University Press of Virginia, 1996.

Historical
Historical
During its heyday, the Shamrock Bar in Bluefield, West Virginia was a gathering place for gays and lesbians. The photographer reported in March 2003, before donating this collection, that Miss Helen Compton, proprietor of the Shamrock, had died and the establishment had been closed.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Carol Burch-Brown and David Haberstich.
Author
David Haberstich
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
Colection donated by Carol Burch-Brown, December 2003.

Other Title
Other Title
It's Reigning Queens in Appalachia

Digital Content
More …
Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment.,Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Preferred Citation
The Shamrock Bar: Photographs and Interviews by Carol Burch-Brown, 1997-2003, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of the artist.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Reproduction restricted due to copyright. Requests will be referred to the photographer.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Bisexuality Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Appalachian Region Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Working class Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Homosexuality Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bars (Drinking establishments) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gay artists -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lesbian and gay experience Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transvestism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1990-2000 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transvestites Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transcripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Compact discs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- Digital prints -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Digital images Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oral history -- 1990-2000 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews -- 1980-2000 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
West Virginia -- 1990-2000 Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bluefield (W.Va.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kilkelly, Ann Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shamrock Bar (Bluefield, W.Va.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives