The journal seen here is the culmination of a long process, and the work of many minds and hands. Discussions about a postgraduate publication initiative here at Sheffield began in early 1994, and initially revolved around the idea of publishing occasional printed collections of graduate student papers, with the intent of allowing Sheffield's junior scholars to gain experience in publishing their academic work. As the initiative progressed, there was a shift in the favoured medium, and a concomitant broadening of content and purpose; in the winter of 1995, as the project gathered momentum, we decided to go electronic, and to include a medley of material from a variety of authors, not just revised dissertation chapters from Sheffield students. From there assemblage built a reputation as a well-respected and progressive peer-reviewed journal, in which postgraduates and career pros are given equal opportunity to disseminate their work.
In assemblage's pages you will find a breadth of material which is not often matched in archaeological journals, for as a volunteer-run publication with virtually no overhead costs, assemblage has been liberated from the need to conform to an established niche in order to sell subscriptions, and we have been able to mold this journal according to our wishes. assemblage will, of course, continue to evolve, but we think we have made a promising beginning on the strength of some excellent contributions.
It is our hope that these pages achieve two broad aims: firstly, by fulfilling some basic needs of graduate students, acting as a forum in which to present their ideas, and a place to find guidance and information; secondly, as being a place of experimentation and innovation in writing about archaeology, not only in content, but also in form. The internet, for all its faults, is an opportunity to be seized, and for our part, we have done our best to make a start. For your part, we trust that you will reflect, enjoy and respond.
adapted from words by Kathryn Denning, Editor of assemblage 1(1996).