The idea behind this journal is to provide a medium for those interested in ‘looking back’ at New Zealand’s art, media and design history. These are the stories that lie behind current media, art and design production and practice in this country. It is envisaged that this new journal will provide an opportunity to explore our rich heritage in these fields.

 In part the motivation to launch a new journal is to meet a perceived need. The country presently does not have a journal which has the focus envisaged for BackStory. The Journal of New Zealand Art History (JoNZAH)  was last published in 2012/13 and its absence has meant that those interested in reading and writing about this aspect of our cultural history lost a valued publication. The editorial team has approached the Hocken Library who provided editorial and production input for the JoNZAH to gain their support for the BackStory initiative. It is acknowledged that the new journal is not a re-launch or continuation of the JoNZAH. Thus the new publication, BackStory: Journal of New Zealand Art, Media and Design History, seeks to broaden the scope of this predecessor to include media and design history. The editorial team hope that those who valued the JoNZAH will find value in this journal as a worthy successor.

The initial editorial team for BackStory is drawn from the Schools of Communication Studies, Art & Design and the Business Faculty at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and an Editorial Advisory Board established.  The establishing editorial team are Minna Pesonen (Designer), Rosemary Brewer, Alan Cocker and Peter Hoar from the School of Communication Studies, Peter Gilderdale from the School of Art & Design and Simon Mowatt from the Faculty of Business.

It is the hope of this team that BackStory has an appeal beyond academia and will inspire contributions from those working in this country’s libraries, galleries and museums as well as others who have an interest in the history of New Zealand art, design, photography and media. We are pleased that this first issue contains contributions from curators at the Auckland Museum and Te Papa.

 All submissions will be blind peer reviewed by two reviewers to conform to university research publication standards but we are seeking contributions that will have an appeal beyond the university. In the so-called online age the decision to publish a printed form is deliberate. The editorial team are seeking the highest print production standards conscious of the artefact value of this journal.