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Full color portrait photo of Bailey DeSimone at her college graduation in a graduate robe with a sash.
Bailey DeSimone. Photo by Emily Sullivan.

An Interview with Bailey DeSimone, Visual Information Specialist

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Today’s follow-up interview is with Bailey DeSimone. Bailey was first interviewed in 2019 when she started at the Law Library of Congress as a Metadata Technician. She is also a blogger for In Custodia Legis, and has authored various posts, including Approaching Peak Bloom – Pic of the Week, From the Serial Set: Biography of the Honeybee, New Story Map: Documenting World War I, and From the Serial Set: What was the D.C. Parks Commission?

Describe your current position.

I am the Law Library’s resident graphic designer and a data visualization specialist. I primarily assist the foreign legal specialists in finding creative ways to visualize their collective findings in legal reports to showcase data trends, something I became especially interested in during my graduate studies. I have been a hobby artist my entire life, and can now bring those skills to the Law Library by designing report covers, infographics, and other digital illustrations. My goal is to make legal information presented in the Law Library’s publications engaging and accessible in a variety of multimedia formats. It is wonderful to be in this role combining my creative skills with my interest in legal information research.

What project are you most proud of that you have worked on at the Law Library of Congress?

Working with our remote summer interns during my time in the Digital Resources Division gave me the opportunity to meet so many incredible people. I learned so much from each individual’s research project and enjoyed being able to help with the research process. Creating Story Maps was my favorite part – bringing together audio, visual, and text materials to create narratives that explain the role of the law in U.S. history. Everyone who joins the internship program from across the world shares the goal of promoting accessible legal information for people of all backgrounds.

What is the most interesting thing you have discovered from working with the Law Library’s print and electronic collections?

As a Metadata Technician, I wrote a series of blog posts called From the Serial Set that highlighted some of my favorite findings from the collection. I am amazed at the scope of information that U.S. legal documents contain and how much there is to learn. It is a fascinating historical perspective. Some of my favorite posts to write were about diplomatic correspondence regarding fashion abroad and tracking the history of LGBTQ+ laws through documentation surrounding the legislative process.

What is your favorite Law Library of Congress website and why?

The foreign legal gazette database is one of the most amazing features of law.gov. Not only does it highlight the Law Library’s unique collection of worldwide legal publications, it makes it easier to locate and identify each specific publication. I am especially motivated by the questions that shape data collection and eventually tell stories through statistics, and this is a fantastic example of how legal information is benefitted through data mapping. This database was created by Elina Lee, a former colleague of mine during my time in the Digital Resources Division and a current Program Specialist in the Copyright Office.

What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Library of Congress?

As an artist, I especially enjoy the different murals throughout the Jefferson Building that list the various disciplines, parts of the world, seasons, and more. I learned recently that Sappho is the only woman (aside from Dr. Carla Hayden’s name on the wall of Librarians) featured in these murals.

What is your favorite legal novel and/or movie?

I tend to read mostly legal nonfiction – I love any history that depicts the law as its own perspective alongside the stories of the people or communities involved. As for movies, I unironically enjoy campy 90s horror films, so The Devil’s Advocate starring Keanu Reeves is high on that list. I’m also a fan of the Babylon Berlin series – a German crime drama set in 1930s Berlin.

Subscribe to In Custodia Legis – it’s free! – to receive interesting posts drawn from the Law Library of Congress’s vast collections and our staff’s expertise in U.S., foreign, and international law.

Comments (2)

  1. Your works are very inspiring and commendable!

  2. Hi I wanted to contact Bailey DeSimone. I have just been looking at her article about WW1 and was shocked to see Australia doesn’t seem to have participated in WW1 – even though here we think we had a very high rate of casualties. There may be other parts of the Commonwealth treated in the same way – I think the article needs to recognize this. Thanks please let me know if any action is bring taken, I think you will find that Australia, Canada, India, South Africa etc all made a much greater and earlier sacrifice in this war.

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