The Shamrock Bar : Photographs and Interviews by Carol Burch-Brown, 1997-2003
It's Reigning Queens in Appalachia
Shamrock Bar (Bluefield, W.Va.)
Black-and-white photoprints: Silver gelatin on fiber-base paper
1 cu. ft. : 2 boxes: 200 photoprints, 26 audio CDs, and 1 document CD
Oral histories (document genres)
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.
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.
Carol Burch-Brown's photographs (200 photoprints, mostly silver gelatin, but including a few digital prints), copies of tape-recorded interviews (31, 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, 1997-2000 (photoprints made in 2003), documenting a working class "gay" bar. Photographs include "drag" performances and other activities at the bar. A colleague of the photographer, Ann Kilkelly, is shown in costume in some of the photographs. The project was later entitled "It's Reigning Queens in Appalachia" by the photographer.
The Shamrock Bar: Photographs and Interviews by Carol Burch-Brown, 1997-2003, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of the artist
Lesbian and gay experience
Bars (Drinking establishments)
2004.3063 (NMAH Acc.)
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves