Archiving the History of an Epidemic:
HIV and AIDS, 1985-2009
The collections in the National Museum of American History’s Archives Center document diverse aspects of the history and culture of the United States. The oral histories, ephemera, and popular culture materials housed here provide researchers an opportunity to learn how individuals and society are affected by—and cope with—the epidemic.
Quotes in this exhibit are taken from two Archives Center Collections, the Victory Deferred Collection and the Shamrock Bar collection.
John-Manuel Andriote interviewed nearly 200 individuals for his 1999 book, Victory Deferred: how AIDS changed gay life in America. Andriote donated his interviews and research materials to the Archives Center in 2008.
Carol Burch Brown photographed and interviewed the owner and patrons of the Shamrock Bar, a working-class gay bar in Bluefield, West Virginia, between 1997 and 2002. In 2003, she donated her photographs, tape-recorded interviews, and interview transcripts to the Archives Center.
Quotes from these collections compliment the ephemera collected by the Archives Center while adding context and meaning.