Melissa J. Nelson is an award-winning archivist, writer, and educator based in Toronto, Canada. She is a leading voice in the field of archival studies on issues of race and racism. Her work and research interests are grounded in an ethics of care for the preservation of Black cultural heritage and anti-Black archival materials. Her work centers Black being and belonging in the archives to support collective healing and liberation movements.
Melissa is the author of “Archiving Hate: Racist Materials in Archives.” This post has been referenced by collecting institutions in their commitment to equity practices, including the University of Waterloo Special Collections & Archives in “Language in Archival Descriptions Changes,” The United Church of Canada Archives in “United Church of Canada Archives Equity Statement,” and Baker Library of Harvard Business School in “Guiding Principles for Conscious and Inclusive Description.”
Melissa is currently an Archivist for the Archives of Ontario. Prior to this, she held archival positions and placements at George Brown College Archives, The Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives, the Law Society of Ontario Archives, and Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections at York University.
Melissa holds a Master of Information Studies from McGill University. She received a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in History, with a minor in Sociology, from Carleton University. Melissa is the founder and creative director of the Black Memory Collective. She also produces and hosts the podcast, Archives & Things.