Heritage begins in the past, but is not bound to it. Let's work together to tell stories that are accessible, personal, and relevant to diverse communities.
BEHIND THE NAME
It's simple: My name is Tova Mellen. Tova is Hebrew for "good," and my surname is misspelled constantly as Mellon, Mellin, Mullen, and my favorite: Melon. In a cruel twist of fate, I am allergic to most varieties of melon.
I grew up in historic Western Massachusetts where I developed a passion for cultural and architectural history, historic preservation, and storytelling. I have over a decade of experience performing research, collections management, exhibit curation, and program design and interpretation. From accidentally traversing alligator-infested waters in Louisiana, to getting lost in the labyrinthine gardens of Fontainebleau, France, I don't let any obstacle stop me from exploring a local museum, archive, or historic site.
I have worked with a broad range of museums, historical societies, archives, cultural nonprofits, and government agencies including the city archives of Vichy, France, the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and the National Park Service. My work and studies have taken me to all corners of Maine, to France, Thailand, and the Netherlands. I completed my MA in Arts and Heritage: Policy, Management, and Education at the University of Maastricht, Netherlands in 2015. I received the unofficial honor of "Nerdiest Thesis Topic" for my research on the history of historical societies.
I have served on the board of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society for three years. Read my article on changing how we view historical collections in the Society's annual magazine.