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Rudolf Pöch Biography
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Virtual Museum
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Rudolf Pöch – Anthropologist, Explorer, Media Pioneer

This is the name of the project supported by the Austrian Research Fund (P17761-G6, 2005 ) which focuses - for an initial period of two years - on the comprehensive, albeit fragmented and almost forgotten estate of the Austrian anthropologist, travelling explorer and media pioneer Rudolf Pöch (1870-1921) (Current Project Status).

Rudolf Pöch was one of the last researchers to lead multi-disciplinary scientific expeditions on a large scale and one of the first to conduct broad-based (though controversial) anthropological investigations in prisoner-of-war camps during World War I (Biography). He documented his undertakings on a wide range of media that were state-of-the-art at that time (e.g. audio recordings, films and special photographic techniques) as well as in numerous collections (e.g. ethnographic objects and human remains).

The project aims to integrate these important objects and media formats, which are now scattered across five Austrian institutions (Project Team), into an internet based, digital database, which will facilitate their critical review by the scientific community. In this regard, we consider our project a case study of a Virtual Museum, which meets all contemporary requirements for archiving and dissemination of multimedia-based content within a cultural/scientific historical context. We should like to stress, in particular, our intention to repatriate this material by way of digital restitution to the people who had previously been the subject of study (Cooperation).