Backstreets Bar Scrapbook

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Backstreets Bar scrapbook
Creator: Backstreets Neighborhood Bar and Grill (Rochester, N.Y.)
Call Number: D.554
Dates: 1983-1995
Physical Description: 0.37 Cubic feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Arrangement
Subject(s)
Processing Information
Access
Use
Citation
Content List
Collection Overview
Title: Backstreets Bar scrapbook
Creator: Backstreets Neighborhood Bar and Grill (Rochester, N.Y.)
Call Number: D.554
Dates: 1983-1995
Physical Description: 0.37 Cubic feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
The Backstreets Neighborhood Bar and Grill, colloquially "Backstreets," or "Backstreets Bar," was opened in 1983 by Jim Van Allen at 14 Charlotte Street, behind the Little Theatre. Prior to being Backstreets, the location had been the second location of the OK Corral, another gay bar. Backstreets was intended as a friendly, safe place where LGBTQ+ people could get a drink and a bite to eat, enjoy live music, dancing, pool, arcade games, and movies. The bar also became an important central organizing spot for the LGBTQ+ Rochester community, and many fundraisers and events were organized, held, and advertised there. Owner Jim Van Allen had a large role in organizing Rochester's earliest Pride events. The bar closed in 1995.

Scope and Content
The materials in this collection comprise the deconstructed contents of a scrapbook/photo album documenting LGBTQ+ life at the Backstreets Neighborhood Bar and Grill in Rochester, NY, during the 1980s. A flash drive with digital images of the original layout of the scrapbook and a spreadsheet with some identification information is present. Other materials include photographs of bar patrons, staff, event decorations, food and flowers, advertisements for the opening of the bar in the September 1983 Empty Closet newspaper, and fliers for events. Highlights of the photograph collections include the 1983 Halloween party, the 1984 Mr. Backstreets competition, and various drag performers in the 80s-90s.

There is also a folder of materials from the Rochester Cross Dressers' Network, dated 1991-1996, including events in Rochester and San Antonio, Texas. An early support and education group for transfeminine people, the Network met in the evenings at Backstreets. Researchers should note that the name "Cross-Dressers" was how the group and its members self-identified at the time, a practice which was common among people who might today identify as trans women. The use of the term in this finding aid and related archival records is in keeping with the practice of using the language of the materials, and of the groups and people represented therein.

Arrangement
The materials of the Backstreets Bar scrapbook have been kept in the order in which they were donated to RBSCP, to best preserve any contextual information around the photos, most of which are unidentified. The collection consists of a single series with ten folders and a flashdrive with digitized copies of the photographs.

Subject(s):
New York (State)--Rochester
Gay men
Bars (Drinking establishments)
Transgender women
Albums (Books)
Photographs
Backstreets Neighborhood Bar and Grill (Rochester, N.Y.)
Rochester Cross Dressers' Network (Rochester, N.Y.)
Processing Information
Photographs were taken of the original scrapbook pages before the photographs were removed from their pages to prevent further damage from sticky pages. For access, please contact rarebks@library.rochester.edu.While there is some identification information available for some of the photographs, further metadata work is necessary to add these details of the materials to the records this collection. However, the collection is being made available in its current state, with the knowledge that further processing should be undertaken to fully add whatever contextual details are available and pertinent. Please contact rarebks@library.rochester.edu with any questions or inquiries on further information. Access
The Backstreets Bar scrapbook is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], Backstreets Bar scrapbook, D.554, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Administrative Information
Author: Lev Earle
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Address:
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
rarebks@library.rochester.edu
URL:

Finding aid publication date: 13 October 2021
Content List
Box 1, Folder 1Invitation to Grand Opening, October 23, 1983
Box 1, Folder 2Photos and flier from Halloween, 1983
Box 1, Folder 3Newspaper ad for the opening of Backstreets, printed in The Empty Closet, September 1983
Box 1, Folder 4Photographs and materials from birthday party for owner Jim Van Allen, October 27, 1983
Box 1, Folder 5Black and white photographs, undated
Box 1, Folder 6Photographs, Mr. Backstreets Competition, 1984
Box 1, Folder 7Invitations and photos from Mr. Backstreets Competiton, October 20, 1983
Box 1, Folder 8Color photographs, undated
Box 1, Folder 9Catering photographs, undated
Box 1, Folder 10Materials from the Rochester Cross-Dressers transgender support group, 1991-1996
Researchers should note that the name "Cross-Dressers" was how the group and its members self-identified at the time, a practice which was common among people who might today identify as trans women. The use of the term in this finding aid and related archival records is in keeping with the practice of using the language of the materials, and of the groups and people represented therein.

Box 1, Folder 0Flash drive with photos of original scrapbook
Researchers may not open or access original digital materials on their own. For access, please contact rarebks@library.rochester.edu or the reading room attendant.



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