{ subscribe_url: '/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/law.php' }

Interview with Tessa Kelder, Global Legal Research Fellow

Tessa Kelder, Global Legal Research Scholar at the Law Library of Congress

Tessa Kelder, Global Legal Research Scholar at the Law Library of Congress

Describe your background.

I am from the Netherlands. My husband, our 6 year-old son, and I moved to D.C. from The Hague, as my husband is a short-term fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library. We will be here till the end of July, after which we’ll spend a few weeks at Cape Cod before going home in mid-August.

What is your academic/professional history? 

I have an MA in English Language and Literature from Utrecht University. During my time at university, I also spent a year at the English Department of University of Manchester, UK as a Harting Scholar. Since then, I’ve worked in information and communications services in various organizations. For the past ten years, I’ve been at the Dutch House of Representatives, where I am a senior communications advisor and team leader within the Communications Department.

How would you describe your job to other people?  

At the Dutch House of Representatives I am jointly responsible for online communications (e.g., via the corporate websites). In the past few years I’ve also worked as an advisor to a parliamentary committee of enquiry as well as in the communications team for the parliamentary dimension of the Dutch EU-Presidency (Jan-July 2016). I lead a team of communications officers and am part of the department’s management team.

At the Law Library, I am a Global Legal Research Fellow. I am working on a research project that will look into the use of services comparable to those of the Law Library for the parliaments of a wide range of countries, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Albania, New Zealand and South Korea. I will focus on the type and range of services offered, ways of interaction with members of congress / parliament, demographics, et cetera. An international benchmark of facts and figures, if you like.

Why did you want to work at the Law Library? (Or Library of Congress) 

When I thought about moving to D.C., my first thought was to try and find a work placement in my own right. The Library of Congress was at the top of my list. It is an institution of a scale and grandeur that you do not find in the Netherlands. It’s a great opportunity to be here and get to see the work of the Library from the inside. I hope to bring back some of my experiences to the Dutch House of Representatives. And of course, I hope to come up with some great results for my research project for the Law Library!

What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library of Congress? 

I am constantly amazed at the breadth and depth of all the work that goes on here. The sheer size of the buildings and the collections they house is mind boggling. I recently had the chance to see the stacks in the cellar of the Madison Building, and that huge space and those seemingly endless shelves just take your breath away. I also had absolutely no idea of all the work that goes on at the Law Library and the amazing number of dedicated and extremely talented people that work there.

What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?

There’s probably quite a lot that my co-workers do not know about me, since I’ve only been here about a month. I’ll go for the fact that I volunteered as an English language instructor for immigrants at the William and MarySchool of Education in Williamsburg, VA in 2011. So I was teaching English to people from all over the world, including Colombia, Azerbaijan, Mongolia and South Korea. It was a rewarding experience, and I learned a great deal from it.


Samuel Chase Manuscript Gets a New Look – Pic of the Week

In today’s Pic-of-the-Week post, we highlight recent work done by Katherine Kelly, a book conservator in the Book Conservation Section of the Conservation Division of the Library of Congress Preservation Directorate. Each year, the Law Library identifies items in its special collections that would benefit from conservation treatment. One of the items that the Law […]

FALQs: Impeachment Process in Brazil

The following is a guest post by Eduardo Soares, a foreign law specialist covering Brazil and other Portuguese-speaking countries at the Law Library of Congress. Eduardo has previously published posts about the Brazilian law collection, capoeira and the law, a Law Library report on citizenship pathways and border protection, highlights of the Law Library’s collection […]

New Email Alerts and RSS Feeds on Congress.gov

Last year’s most viewed new post on In Custodia Legis was Legislation Email Alerts on Congress.gov.  The email alerts are an excellent addition to the system that allow you to track a specific piece of legislation, what a Member of Congress is sponsoring and cosponsoring, and when the next issue of the Congressional Record is available. Building on those […]

The Consilia of Alessandro Nievo: On Jews and Usury in 15th Century Italy

In anticipation of the Library’s upcoming program, “La Città degli Ebrei/The City of the Jews: Segregated Space and the Admission of Strangers in the Jewish Ghetto of Venice,” – a conference held in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy and the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland to […]

National Archives – Pic of the Week

The National Archives is just a short walk down Capitol Hill and across the National Mall from the Library of Congress.  Currently, if you live in Washington, D.C. or are visiting, there is a very interesting exhibit titled Amending America. Each time I visit the National Archives I learn more about the great institution and new projects they […]