This paper presents B and R band CCD images and medium resolution spectroscopy of NGC 2915, a relatively isolated BCD (blue compact dwarf) galaxy at a distance of ~5 Mpc. NGC 2915 contains two stellar populations: a high surface brightness blue core population and a red diffuse population. The core population contains all of the H II, and numerous embedded objects. It is the locus of current high mass star formation. The brightest embedded objects are likely to be young ionizing clusters, while many of the fainter objects are likely to be individual supergiant stars with masses up to ~25M_sun_, or blends of a few such stars. Curious aligned structures on the SE side of the galaxy are seen and their nature discussed. The spectrum of the core is dominated by bright narrow emission lines like that of a high excitation and low metallicity (less than half solar) H II region. The continuum is flat, with Balmer and Ca II features seen in absorption. The velocity of the Ca II features suggest contamination by galactic interstellar absorption. There is a significant velocity gradient in the spectra, probably indicative of rotation. Outside of its core, NGC 2915 resembles a dE (dwarf elliptical) galaxy, in that it has an exponential surface brightness profile, is red [(B -R)_0_ = 1.65], and has a low extrapolated central surface brightness [B(0)_c_ = 22.44]. NGC 2915's properties are compared with other BCDs, concentrating on two morphologically similar BCDs that are near enough to resolve into stars: NGC 1705 and NGC 5253. It is noted that the presence of winds in BCDs invalidates closed box chemical evolution models and the remaining constraints on star formation duration are relatively weak. Some BCDs, including NGC 2915, may be able to maintain their present star formation rate for Gyr time scales. This suggests that the overall evolution of these BCDs may be much slower than the ~10 Myr burst time scales commonly quoted. However, shortly after the formation of a massive (10^6^M_sun_) cluster a BCD will have all the properties of strong starburst galaxy.